CAN XL is knocking on the door

The third generation of CAN technology is arriving. After Classical CAN and CAN FD, CAN XL will be introduced officially in 2020.

Classical CAN was launched in 1986. This first generation of CAN technology was successful for more than 25 years. And it is still the dominating in-vehicle network. In 2012, the development of the second generation of CAN technology, better known as CAN FD, was started. Two years later, it was officially introduced at the 14th iCC (international CAN Conference) in Paris, France. This year, the third CAN technology will see the light. Mid of March at the 17th international CAN Conference (iCC), CAN XL will be launched.

CAN XL will provide a data field with up to 2048 byte. The 11-bit priority field can be used by the network layer for addressing purposes and to indicate the content of the data field. Additionally, the CAN XL protocol provides an 8-bit indicator for the used next higher protocol. This is so-to-say an embedded layer-setting parameter not fitting in the classic OSI reference model. Such embedded layer-setting parameters are also helpful for the other higher-layer protocols, to simplify multi-protocol stacks. The CAN XL frames are protected by means of two CRCs (cyclic redundancy checks), which features a Hamming Distance of 6 meaning that five randomly distributed bit-errors are detected.

CAN XL is highly scalable communication technology regarding the bit-rate and the length of the data field. The physical layer is still under development. The goal is to achieve bit-rates of up to 10+ Mbit/s. CAN XL is optimized for zone-oriented heterogeneous network architectures. This approach fits the requirements of future in-vehicle networks with optimized lengths. The automotive industry tries to reduce cabling, in order to minimize weight or in another words to limit energy consumption.