CAN Technology Soldiers on in Even More Applications

More than thirty years have passed since CAN technology was first launched. Despite the technology’s long history, it has managed to continue to evolve as a technology standard. The fact that it is now used in an even broader range of applications instead of being rendered obsolete is proof of the technology’s inherent superiority. Let us now take a look at the latest developments and solutions in CAN.

Expanding Beyond In-Vehicle Networks

The Controller Area Network (known as CAN or CANbus for short) is a standard defined by Bosch in the early 1980s. It became the ISO 11898-1 standard in 1993 and has been extensively used in all kinds of automotive and electronic equipment. CAN is a communications protocol that allows multiple microcontrollers or devices on a network to talk directly to each other. No host is needed to control communications over the network. CAN offers a serial bus with highly secure and efficient real-time control. It also incorporates error detection and priority-checking mechanisms that ensure reliable and efficient transmission of network messages. The CAN architecture offers redundancy and error checking as well. These attributes make it particularly well-suited for smart network devices such as sensors and actuators within systems or sub-systems. In general, CAN offers high scalability, high reliability and low cost.

CAN was first developed for use with in-vehicle networks. Prior to its introduction, carmakers had used point-to-point connections to connect all electronic devices in a vehicle. The increasing number of electronic devices used in vehicles, however, meant that the traditional wiring method took up a lot of space and increased costs. This led to carmakers replacing physical wiring with an in-vehicle network to reduce wiring costs, complexity, volume and weight. CAN quickly became the standard for in-vehicle networks across the automotive industry.

An increasing number of industries have begun to appreciate the advantages offered by CAN so it is now used in a growing number of applications as well. Trams, subways, light rail and long-distance railway applications have all adopted CAN technology. It is now being applied to network connectivity applications in industrial automation, building automation, medical devices, aerospace, elevator and escalators as well.

Those looking to build a CAN-compatible system right away can look to the high-speed, low-power NCV7344 CAN FD transceiver from ON Semiconductor. The NCV7344 CAN transceiver serves as an interface between the CAN protocol controller and physical bus. The transceiver offers the capability to transmit differential signaling to a bus and to the CAN controller. The NCV7344 is the latest addition to ON Semiconductor’s range of stand-alone NCV734x transceivers. It replaces the previous generation of high-speed transceiver products, such as the AMIS42665 and AMIS3066x.

NCV7344 adds timing assurance parameters to guarantee the reliable transmission of data at rates of over 1 Mbps to meet the requirements for CAN FD (Flexible Data Rate). These features make the NCV7344 your best choice for all types of HS-CAN networks as well as low-power nodes that need to be wakened through the CAN bus.

NCV7344 is compatible with the ISO 11898-2:2016 standard and supports Loop Delay Symmetry for transmission rates of up to 5 Mbps. In NCV7344-3, Pin VIO allows for direct connections to microcontrollers that support 3V to 5V. It can be woken up from low current standby mode via the bus. Low Electromagnetic Emission (EME) and high resistance to electromagnetic interference mean very low electromagnetic radiation even when Common Mode (CM) choke coils are not used. The unpowered node will not disturb communication of remaining Can nodes on the bus. Also under other power supply failures like missing ground, under-voltage, etc. the chip behaves always predictably. Software malfunction leading to a permanent dominant driven from the controller is prevented by dominant time out function on TxD pin.

A very high level of electro-static discharge (ESD) protection is provided for the bus pins as well to prevent ESD pulses over 8 kV. Protection against over-temperature and bus pin short-circuits ensure normal power supply voltage and ground. Bus pins are robust against transients common in automotive environment. All components are lead-free to comply with environmental requirements.

CAN technology is continuing to prove its worth after more than thirty years of development. Developments are now picking up steam again and the range of applications is expanding as well. If you are interested in the developing products related to CAN applications, the NCV7344 CAN FD transceiver from ON Semiconductor offers the perfect option for accelerating the product development cycle.

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