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We offer a wide range of 32-bit microcontrollers (MCUs) with support for the Controller Area Network (CAN) serial communication protocol. These are high-performance devices that support CAN 2.0B applications, as well as devices that come with up to four interfaces to support CAN FD applications.

CAN Basic Concepts

Since its introduction, there have been a number of updates to the CAN standard. All new standards maintain backward compatibility with the previous standards. The CAN and CAN FD protocols are used in a wide variety of applications ranging from industrial to automotive.

CAN Standards

There are several versions of the CAN bus specification:

  • 2.0A – 11 bit message identifier (Standard ID)
  • 2.0B – 29 bit message identifier (Extended ID)
    • 2.0B Passive – ignores 29-bit message identifier
    • 2.0B Active – handles both 11-bit and 29-bit identifier
  • CAN FD – backwards compatibility with CAN 2.0B with support for bit rates greater than 1 Mbps and payloads greater than 8 Bytes/frame

The CAN protocol supports five types of frames which include data frame, remote frame, error frame, overload frame, and interframe space.

In general, there are two functional blocks in a CAN node: 

  1. The CAN controller, which is integrated in the MCU
  2. The CAN transceiver, which is the physical-level interface 

We offer a wide range of CAN transceivers. The diagram below shows the typical architecture for a CAN network.


CAN FD improves the bandwidth utilization of the CAN bus and protocol. The increase in bandwidth utilization is achieved by:

  • Dual Bit Rate: CAN FD frames support dual-bit-time capability
    • Normal Bit Time - The bit time is identical to the existing CAN protocol. This includes those fields where multiple devices can transmit simultaneously, at the arbitration start and acknowledgement end.
    • Reduced Bit Time - To achieve higher data rates, CAN FD allows bit times for certain fields that are shorter than the current CAN bit time. Timing requirements for these fields are less stringent as it is guaranteed that the devices only transmit one after another. Bit-wise arbitration is not needed. These fields include two control bits, payload length (4 bits), payload data, and CRC (17 or 21 bits).
  • Payload Increase:
    • The maximum message length is 64 bytes compared to 8 bytes previously, improving the efficiency of the CAN protocol.
    • To take advantage of this improvement in CAN FD, you also need to update the system software.
161019-CPG-DIAG-MCU_CIPs_FunctionDevelopmentCycleLeveragingCIPs -7x5

32-bit MCUs with CAN and CAN FD

Please refer to the sections below to select the PIC32 or SAM MCU that is best suited for your application.

Entry-Level 32-bit MCUs with CAN

PIC32MX5 Series

  • 40, 50 MHz Performance
  • Up to 512 KB Flash/64 KB RAM
  • Full Speed OTG
  • One CAN 2.0B
  • 64/100 Pins

SAM C21 Family

  • 48 MHz Performance
  • Up to 256 KB Flash/32 KB SRAM
  • Dual CAN FD
  • 5V Compliant
  • Peripheral Touch Controller (PTC)
  • AEC-Q100 Grade 1 Qualification

Mid-Range 32-bit MCUs with CAN

Up to four CAN interfaces are supported by these MCUs.

PIC32MX5/7 Series

  • 80 MHz Performance
  • Up to 512 KB Flash/128 KB RAM
  • Up to Two CAN 2.0B
  • USB 2.0-compliant Full-Speed OTG
  • 10/100 Ethernet MAC
  • 64/100 Pins

PIC32MK Series

  • 120 MHz Performance
  • Up to 1 MB Flash/256 KB RAM
  • Up to Four CAN 2.0B
  • Up to Two USB 2.0-compliant Full-Speed OTG
  • 64/100 Pins
  • 12-bit ADCs

SAM E5x Family

  • 120 MHz Performance
  • Up to 1 MB Flash/256 KB SRAM
  • Dual CAN FD
  • USB FS 2.0 Host/Device
  • 48/64/100/128 Pins
  • 10/100 Ethernet MAC with IEEE1588 (SAM E53/SAM E54)

SAM 4E Family

  • 120 MHz Performance
  • Up to 1 MB Flash/128 KB SRAM
  • Up to Two CAN 2.0B
  • USB 2.0 Full-Speed Device
  • 100/144 Pins
  • High-Performance 32-bit MCUs with CAN

    The following are our high-performance CAN 2.0B and CAN FD 32-Bit MCUs.

    PIC32MZ EF Family

    • 200 MHz Performance
    • Dual CAN 2.0B
    • AEC-Q100
    • Up to 2 MB Flash/512 KB SRAM
    • 64/100/124/144 Pins
    • USB 2.0-compliant Hi-Speed On-The-Go (OTG) controller
    • 10/100 Ethernet
    • 12-bit ADC, Crypto Engine with RNG

    SAM E70/V70/V71 Series

    • 300 MHz Performance
    • Up to 2 MB Flash/384 KB SRAM
    • Up to Two CAN FD
    • AEC-Q100 (SAM V70 and SAM V71)
    • FS and HS USB 2.0 Host/Device
    • 10/100 Ethernet MAC with IEEE®1588/Ethernet-AVB (SAM V71 and SAM E70)
    • 12-bit ADC, Crypto Engine with TRNG
    • 64/100/144 Pins

    Development Tools

    32-bit MCUs with CAN Development Boards

    We offer a wide range of development kits for CAN 2.0B and CAN FD, from starter kits to fully integrated development environments such as MPLAB® Harmony and Microchip Studio IDE.

    Entry-Level CAN Development Boards

    Description Part Number
    PIC32MX1/2/5 Starter Kit DM320100
    SAM C21 Xplained Pro Evaluation Kit ATSAMC21-XPRO

    Mid-Range CAN Development Boards

    Description Part Number
    SAM4E Xplained Pro Evaluation Kit ATSAM4E-XPRO
    SAM4E Evaluation Kit ATSAM4E-EK
    PIC32MK GP Development Kit DM320106
    SAM E54 Xplained Pro ATSAME54-XPRO
    PIC32 USB Starter Kit III DM320003-3
       Starter Kit I/O Expansion Board DM320002
       CAN/LIN PICtail™ Plus Daughter Board AC164130-2
    Explorer 16/32 Development Kit DM240001-3
       CAN/LIN PICtail Plus Daughter Board AC164130-2
       PIC32MX795F512L 80 MHz PIM MA320003
       PIC32MZ EF with FPU 200 MHz PIM MA320019
       PIC32MX570F512L 50 MHz PIM MA320015

    High-End CAN Development Boards

    Description Part Number
    SAM E70 Xplained Evaluation Kit ATSAME70-XPLD
    SAM V71 Xplained Ultra Evaluation Kit ATSAMV71-XULT
    Curiosity PIC32MZEF Development Board DM320104
    PIC32MZ EC with FPU (EF) Starter Kit DM320007
    PIC32MZ EC with FPU (EF) Starter Kit and Crypto DM320007-C
       PIC32MZ Starter Kit Adapter Board AC320006
       Starter Kit I/O Expansion Board DM320002
       CAN/LIN PICtail Plus Daughter Board AC164130-2

    CAN Bus Analyzer

    The CAN BUS Analyzer is a simple-to-use low cost CAN bus monitor which can be used to develop and debug a high-speed CAN network. The tool supports CAN 2.0 B and ISO11898-2.

    Description Part Number
    CAN Bus Analyzer APGDT002

    Software Development Tools

    MPLAB Harmony is for use with PIC32 devices. Microchip Studio and Atmel START are for use with SAM devices.

    Description Part Number
    MPLAB Harmony Integrated Software Framework MPLAB Harmony
    Microchip Studio Microchip Studio
    Atmel START Atmel START
    Advanced Software Framework (ASF) ASF


    Title Download
    AN228 - A CAN Physical Layer Discussion Download
    AN754 - Understanding Microchip's CAN Module Bit Timing Download
    TB078 - PLL Jitter and Its Effects in the CAN Protocol Download
    AN32208 - AT02985: User's Guide for USB-CAN Demo on SAM4E-EK Download
    AT6493: SAM C21/CAN BUS/Firmware Download
    AN713 - An introduction to the CAN protocol that discusses the basics and key features. Download
    Title Download
    PIC32MZ Embedded Connectivity (EC) Family Sell Sheet Download
    32-bit Peripherals Quick Reference Card Download
    PIC32MZ with FPU Sell Sheet Download
    MPLAB® Harmony Brochure Download
    SAM Automotive Sell Sheet Download
    PIC32MX1/2/5 Sell Sheet Download
    32-bit Microcontroller Families Brochure Download
    Connectivity Solutions for Embedded Design Download
    32-bit MCU Connectivity Sell Sheet Download
    Title Download
    PIC32MX5xx/6xx/7xx Family Data Sheet Download
    SAM C20/C21 Family Data Sheet Download
    PIC32MZ Embedded Connectivity with Floating Point Unit (EF) Family Data Sheet Download
    PIC32MK General Purpose and Motor Control (GP/MC) Family Data Sheet Download
    PIC32MX1xx/2xx/5xx 64/100-pin Family Data Sheet Download
    Title Download
    Microchip Studio User Guide Download
    MPLAB® Harmony Help - Demo Apps Download