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Local Interconnect Network (LIN) Bus Technology

LIN is a low-cost serial communications protocol that was primarily developed by automobile OEMs to support remote applications within a car's network. Since the first LIN bus specification was released in 1999, it has proliferated within vehicle sub-systems, especially those that are not critical to performance or safety. It is also widely used to connect a variety of actuators and sensors in vehicles. Since the maximum data rate for LIN is 20 Kbps, the LIN bus offers an inexpensive solution for applications where speed and bandwidth are not the primary drivers.

Unlike a CAN bus, which leverages 5V twisted pair wires, a LIN solution uses a 12V single wire bus. A LIN solution employs up to 16 nodes, which communicate with a single master node. The master initiates messages to nodes along the network. Often seen as a simpler alternative to more elaborate CAN-based approaches, a LIN master node can also interface with other networks within a vehicle.

While it is typically used for mechatronic nodes in automobiles, the LIN bus is also well suited for applications outside the automotive sector. Appliance and industrial markets are adopting LIN bus connectivity as a low-cost solution in feature-rich applications with multiple connected nodes. Emerging applications include:

  • Washing machines
  • Refrigerators
  • Stoves
  • Ovens
  • Manufacturing equipment
  • Metal-working machines

Modular Solutions for Your LIN Application

Our portfolio of LIN products, development kits and software library enables you to develop low-cost LIN solutions easily and efficiently. LIN can be implemented on any microcontroller (MCU) with a UART or USART interface. We also offer stand-alone solutions that range from simple transceiver ICs to complex system basis chips that integrate a LIN transceiver with a voltage regulator and watchdog timer or relay driver. To enable a complete solution, our System-in-Packages (SiPs) feature a microcontroller plus a LIN transceiver, voltage regulator and watchdog timer in a single package.

Functional Safety for LIN Networks

Because LIN bus networks are intended to support data exchange amongst safety-critical functions, it is important to implement robust safety measures to reduce the risk of transmitting incorrect data. The safety features available in our LIN transceivers and controllers not only comply with the vigorous standards required for a functionally safe communication network, our proven experience and design support can help minimize your cost and development time.

LIN Connectivity for Automotive Applications

Automotive designers choose LIN communications to expand the functionality of comfort, visibility, seat positioning, climate and steering wheel-based control features. LIN bus technology is commonly found in:

  • Interior and exterior mirrors
  • HVAC blower motors
  • Sensors and air doors
  • Seat controls (heaters, motors, switches)
  • Door controls (door locks, window lifts, RKE receivers, control panels)
  • Steering wheels (control panels, heating, ignition lock)
  • Sunroof motors
  • Compass systems
  • Visors
  • Light control
  • Glow plug controls
  • Battery sensors
  • Windshield wipers
  • Rain sensors
  • Headlight systems