CAN Info Mail

This monthly email is for all CAN fellows.
July 2023

A word from the CiA Managing Director

CAN FD has arrived in all kind of micro-controllers. Not just micro-controllers for the automotive applications provide on-chip CAN FD cores. This increases the interest and acceptance in non-automotive applications. Some users only like to make use of the larger data field (up to 64 byte) and do not use the bit-rate switch function. Others like to increase the data throughput and configure more than 1 Mbit/s in the data phase. Some users like to apply the so-called SIC (signal improvement capability) transceivers as specified in CiA 601-4. SIC transceivers are heavily used in the automotive industry. But pay attention: SIC transceivers should not be used for arbitration bit rates of higher than 667 kbit/s, except you use a specified subset of CAN identifiers.

The increasing availability of CAN FD hardware components (micro-controllers as well as stand-alone CAN high-speed transceivers supporting bit rates above 1 Mbit/s) has also impacts on CANopen FD. More and more device makers and system designers are looking to CANopen FD and its new features, e.g. the Universal SDO. CiA is currently reviewing and updating the CiA 1301 CANopen FD application layer and communication profile specification. It will be released soon. It contains editorial improvements and a few functional enhancements. An open issue is still the network design, when using long cables and data phase bit rates above 2 Mbit/s. CiA has established Special Interest Group to deal with this topic.

CiA also calls for papers for the 18th international CAN Conference in Baden-Baden, Germany (May 14 and 15, 2024). One of the hot topics is the design experience with CAN FD and related solutions. Non-automotive users can learn from the automotive industry, which already has migrated to CAN FD. Commercial vehicles are also in the move to CAN FD (J1939-22/17). The missing link is the support by Autosar, in order to avoid OEM-specific solutions.

Some suppliers also provide the option to configure node-ID and bit-timing by means of SDO (classic CANopen) or USDO (CANopen FD). CiA does not recommend to implement this option. In case of a reset command, these parameters would contain the default values, what could lead to inconsistent bit-timing settings in the connected devices. In minimum, the devices should provide a warning, before the reset is performed. Some protection by means of passwords or other measures is highly recommended.

Keep it simple and stupid: Do not challenge your customers. Do not provide all possibilities and options. Less is sometimes more. I remember a case, that a user changed the bit-rate by means of SDO services in one device and tried to do the same in another device. But this was not more possible, because the bit rates did not match anymore. All CAN communication was corrupted by means of error frames – until the host controller transmitting the SDO messages went bus-off. To fix the problem, all devices needed to be disconnected and re-integrated after configuring all devices properly to the desired bit rate. I suggest to use the LSS services instead.

The vendor-ID parameter is a mandatory function of CANopen and CANopen FD. If you have questions regarding this topic, please do not hesitate, to contact CiA office.

CiA welding and cutting profile

Recently, CiA has established a SIG (Special Interest Group), which is going to develop a generic application profile for welding and cutting systems. In a first step, this generic profile will be mapped to classic CANopen. This approach should enable a plug-and-play function for basic setups, should provide a standardized interface to Asset Administration Shell (AAS), and should facilitate regulatory compliance and protection of the worker’s health. CiA will provide more information on the Schweissen & Schneiden tradeshow in Essen, Germany (September 11 to 15, 2023) on the Abicor-Binzel booth or by email.

Call for experts: Greenhouse automation

CiA calls for parties, which are interested in developing a CANopen profile for greenhouse automation. The idea is to standardize CANopen interfaces for different "virtual" sub-systems (e.g. windows, shading, sensors, etc.). This is also discussed in ISO TC23 SC19 on initiative of the Korean government. However, it is proposed to use as application layer the J1939-based ISO 11783 standard series. CiA office prefers for this kind of applications CANopen, because it is the more flexible approach and is already used (e.g. by Hoogendoorn). If you are interested in the development of such an application profile, please contact CiA, in order to organize a related workshop in September.

CiA 103 intrinsic-safe CAN device interface

CiA has updated editorially the CiA 103 specification. Intrinsic safety (IS) is an approach to the design of equipment going into hazardous areas. The idea is to reduce the available energy to a level, where it is too low to cause ignitions. The primary concept behind IS for communication systems is the restriction of available electrical energy in the CAN network so that ignition of a hazardous atmosphere (explosive gas or dust) cannot occur. This is achieved by ensuring that only low voltages and low currents enter the hazardous area, and that no significant energy storage is possible. This document is applicable to IS-capable CANopen devices. It can also be applied for other Classical CAN based devices using other higher-layer protocols.

CiA 462 released as DS

The CANopen profile for item detection devices CiA 462 v. 1.1.0 was released as draft specification (DS). It specifies the CANopen interface for devices that identify existence, dimension, orientation, or movement of items in their environment (e.g. optical camera, laser device). Often those devices are called vision sensors or object detection devices. The document is now available for non-members (within the CiA 4xx series) as part of the CiA specification subscription.

June issue of the CAN Newsletter magazine is released

The second issue of the CAN Newsletter magazine includes a series of articles related to CAN in agriculture. These describe an open-source CANopen stack an apple-harvesting robot, micro-motors for smart farming, and linear actuators for agriculture machinery. A dynamic inclinometer supporting J1939 can also be used in agricultural solutions.

The articles about CAN XL plugfest in Troy (US), predictive maintenance in CANopen Lift, and virtual CAN FD network give an insight into current engineering issues. Further topics are the CAN Injection attack and Address Claim Hunter cyberattack in J1939 networks considering the cybersecurity of CAN. Additionally, the Standards and specifications section briefly informs about ongoing international standardization activities.

The articles can be downloaded individually or you can download the entire magazine.

CAN Newsletter Online

Radiation monitor: Measures energy-charged particles in space

The Norwegian company Integrated Detector Electronics AS (Ideas), a new member of CiA, offers for its space radiation monitor a CAN connectivity option. It monitors so-to-say the “space weather”.


CAN- and CANopen-related educational training

Seminar online

  • 2023-10-11: CAN for newcomers 1
  • 2023-10-12: CAN for newcomers 1

Seminar onsite

  • 2023-10-24: CAN und CANopen for newcomers (Lomazzo, IT) 1

Technology day online

  • 2023-09-14: Chinese technology day 1

Technology days onsite

  • 2023-10-25: CiA technology day Italy 1
  • 2023-11-21: CiA technology day Taiwan 1

1 in English language
2 in German language

New CiA members since the last CAN Info Mail (CIM)

  • Delta Line (CH)
  • Dynamic Drives Giessen (DE)
  • Itoh Denki (JP)
  • Kemper (DE)
  • National Aperture (US)
  • Onplick (PL)
  • Shanghai Analogy Semiconductor Technology (CN)

CiA has 744 members (August 01, 2023)

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