Ending the 30-year anniversary

The 30th anniversary year of CAN in Automation and the CAN Newsletter magazine comes to its end and so is the “history and trends” series.

On occasion of its 30th birthday, the CAN Newsletter magazine included in all four issues of 2022 feature articles, which focused on dedicated application fields called “history and trends”. The March issue began with the article ‘From eight to more than 700 members’ in which Holger Zeltwanger, the CiA initiator, reflects some of the important milestones of CiA. In ‘CAN in elevators’ it is all about CANopen Lift and how in 2002, CiA members started to develop the CiA 417 profile for lift control systems. The goal was to agree to a common specification, which enables suppliers to design interoperable CAN-connectable devices for elevators. ‘CAN lower OSI layers’ is about the development and implementation of the first CAN generation, which started more than 30 years ago. Today, CiA already has released the third CAN generation known as CAN XL. ISO standardization was always an important issue: The next editions of ISO 11898-1 (data link layer and physical coding sub-layer) and ISO 11898-2 (high-speed media access unit sub-layers) covers Classical CAN, CAN FD, and CAN XL. ‘CAN in agriculture and farming’ focuses on how CAN helps to provide people with food and beverage.

In summer, the June issue was published. In the article ‘From classic CANopen to CANopen FD’, the focus lies on the CANopen application layer, which was developed under the umbrella of a European research project. Today, CiA has released more than 20 000 pages of profile specifications for classic CANopen. There are 14 members who joint the non-profit CiA association in 1992 and are still members; read who are them in ‘CiA members from the beginning’. More application areas in which CAN is used since a long time, is in maritime electronics. There are different standardized applications based on CANopen and J1939 (known as NMEA 2000). Currently, CiA started to specify a dual-mode redundancy concept suitable for all three CAN protocol generations; more in ‘CAN goes on (and under) the sea’. Furthermore, ‘CAN in air and space’ is a topic already since 1996. Nowadays, CAN is used in Boeing and Airbus aircrafts, in helicopters, in drones, and even in satellites in the outer space.

The September issue was kind of special since we printed some issues for the exhibitions Innotrans and Bauma. So, it is obvious that the topics were ‘CAN on construction sites’ and ‘CAN on rails’. In cranes, pavers, earth-moving machinery, and other equipment used on construction sites, embedded CAN networks are used for many purposes. CANopen and J1939 are the most applied higher-layer protocols. The next step is the migration to CANopen FD and J1939-22 as well as to CAN XL in a long term. Additionally, CAN serves in many rail vehicles as embedded and deeply embedded network. In many cases, CANopen is used as higher-layer protocol.

Last but not least, the December issue followed. Again, CiA’s Holger Zeltwanger takes a look on ‘The future of CiA’ and the next steps to CAN XL. CiA is going to continue developing the CAN XL ecosystem and is also committed to provide profile specifications to enable off-the-shelf interoperability between devices. Another topic is widely-spread ‘Non-automotive CAN applications’. The article ‘Doctor CAN – embedded communication in healthcare’ completes the ‘history and trends’ series. Already in the early days of CAN, it was used in medical devices. Still nowadays, CAN is applied because of its reliability and robustness a preferred network technology in healthcare.

Of course, a range of other articles are included in those issues as well. The editors of the CAN Newsletter magazine, look forward to continue with the 2023 issues and welcome your contribution. So, if you have an interesting article regarding CAN, send it to pr(at)can-cia.org. Maybe you have an extraordinary application report in which a CAN product was used, or any other exciting topic regarding CAN (FD) or even CAN XL. The March issue will be printed and distributed at the Embedded World 2023.

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