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What is CAN?

Controller Area Network (CAN) is a high-speed serial communications network originally developed by Intel Corporation and Robert Bosch GmbH for automotive applications. It has since spread to industrial control, medical equipment and many other applications.

What components are required to create a CAN node?

A CAN node is comprised of three basic elements:

  • A host processor that interprets and generates messages
  • A CAN controller that converts messages to and from bits that are transmitted and received on the serial bus
  • A transceiver that is used as the physical layer interface, which adapts the signal levels to and from the bus to the CAN controller

What are the latest ISO standards for CAN?

  • ISO 11898-1:2015 specifies the Data Link Layer and the Physical Signaling; CAN controllers implement this standard in hardware
  • ISO 11898-2:2016 specifies the High-Speed Medium Access Unit; CAN transceivers implement this standard in hardware
  • Classical CAN,  CAN Flexible Data Rate (CAN FD), and CAN Partial Networking are specified in the latest ISO 11898 standards
  • ISO 16845-1:2016 and ISO 16845-2:2018 specify conformance testing for ISO 11898-1:2015 and ISO 11898-2:2016, respectively

What is driving the transition to CAN Flexible Data Rate (CAN FD)?

New electronic applications require more bandwidth and higher payloads than CAN 2.0 supports.

What are some of the benefits of using CAN FD?

The CAN FD protocol builds on the existing benefits of CAN 2.0 technology while offering faster data rates and data byte message expansion. It increases the maximum data rate from 1 Mbps to 5 Mbps and increases the CAN message data field from 8 bytes to 64 bytes.

Can I use CAN 2.0 microcontrollers (MCUs) and transceivers for CAN FD?

No, CAN 2.0 MCUs won’t work in CAN FD networks. Your MCUs and transceivers must meet the latest ISO 11898-1/2 specification to be used in a CAN FD application.

Are CAN FD MCUs backwards compatible with CAN 2.0?

Yes, CAN FD MCUs support both CAN 2.0 and CAN FD.

What products does Microchip offer for CAN applications?

We offer a large portfolio of 8-, 16- and 32-bit microcontrollers (MCUs) with integrated CAN 2.0 and CAN FD peripherals. We also offer a variety of CAN FD and CAN Partial Networking (CAN PN) transceivers and external CAN 2.0 and CAN FD controllers.

Which versions of the CAN specification do Microchip’s MCUs support?

The CAN FD and ECAN modules used in Microchip’s 8- , 16- and 32-bit microcontrollers support CAN FD and CAN 1.2, CAN 2.0A, CAN 2.0B Passive and CAN 2.0B Active versions of the protocol.

Do Microchip products support CAN FD ISO CRC?

Yes, our CAN FD MCUs and external CAN FD controllers use the CAN FD IP from Kvaser or the M_CAN IP from Bosch and conform to the latest ISO 11898 standards.

Are CAN bus drivers readily available for Microchip microcontrollers?

Vector Informatik GmbH has developed software packages for several of our 8- and 16-bit MCUs for various OEM CAN networks. Please contact your local Microchip representative for more information.

Are Microchip CAN MCUs qualified at the automotive OEMs?

Several of our CAN MCUs have been qualified at different OEMs. Please contact your local Microchip representative for more information.

Are Microchip CAN transceivers qualified at the automotive OEMs?

Most of our CAN transceivers have been qualified at different OEMs. Please contact your local Microchip representative for more information

Can I get conformance testing reports for Microchip CAN products?

Yes, please contact your local Microchip representative for copies of the reports.

Where can I get training?

Visit our Technical Learning Center to discover the options we offer for learning more about CAN and other topics. Vector Informatik GmbH also offers many seminars and workshops at their sites throughout the world.