CAN Info Mail

This monthly email is for all CAN fellows.
July 2019

A word from the CiA Managing Director

Finally, they are there: the CAN FD micro-controllers for non-automotive applications. Since the introduction of CAN FD in 2012, designers of industrial automation devices waited on dedicated low-cost CAN FD micro-controllers with a small footprint. At first, Microchip offered stand-alone CAN FD controllers for industrial application. Now, there is a broader range of CAN FD micro-controllers available (from NXP, STM, and TI for example).

CiA has made its homework and has released the CiA 1301 CANopen FD application layer specification already in 2017. As usual, it needs a couple of years, to specify the entire development and programming environment including conformance test tool and device profiles. And we are still doing this.

Without appropriate CAN FD hardware, non-automotive users were not really invited to adapt the improved CAN data link layer. Soon, they will also get the so-called SIC (signal improvement capability) transceivers as specified in CiA 601-4, which will be released in the next weeks. These transceivers suppress ringing, which allows the usage of CAN FD communication in non-optimized linear bus topologies.

The CAN FD physical network design is more challenging than developing a Classical CAN network (some call it CAN 2.0 A/B; although this original specification by Bosch has been substituted by ISO 11898 with some changes already in 1993). On the other hand, the flexibility of the bit-rate settings allows tailoring the communication to the application needs. CAN technology is used in so many different applications that it is nearly impossible to find the one topology, which fits all system requirements.

Looking to the new CANopen FD features in more detail, many of CANopen users’ wishes are now fulfilled. This includes broadcasting of confirmed serves (Universal SDO), improved error handling, and larger PDO payloads. Still not standardized is functional safety and embedded security.

CANopen FD fills the gap between Classical CAN technology and Industrial Ethernet approaches. It is suitable for embedded and deeply embedded applications, in which reliable and robust communication is required in combination with low-cost hardware and small footprints. CANopen FD is a scalable approach, which can be used on classic physical networks (running up to 1 Mbit/s), CAN FD (SIC) compliant physics (with or without bit-rate switch), as well as future CAN XL transceivers. CiA intends to support CANopen FD also on CAN XL meaning. This means, there is no need for CANopen XL application layer. CANopen FD protocols will also support data frames with more than 64 bytes.

CiA office provides appropriate education and consultancy services for those, who like to migrate their products to CANopen FD. This includes in-house seminars with customized agendas. The next CANopen FD seminars are scheduled on October 23 in Frankfurt/Main (Germany) and on December 5 in Munich (Germany).


SAE J1939 and CANopen profiles

There are specified many CANopen profiles, which could be in the interest of J1939 applications. For example, the CiA 406 (encoder) and CiA 410 (inclinometer) profiles are such specifications. In order to avoid the re-invention of the wheel, you can adapt the default PDOs and map them to proprietary parameter groups. To configure those sensors, you can invent a proprietary mapping of the SDO protocol. However, this does not lead to interoperable products. Therefore, CiA has established a joint task force (JTF) to develop such an adaptation of the mentioned CiA profiles to J1939. Interested parties should contact secretary(at)

CANopen application profile for door control (CiA 416)

In order to improve the CANopen specification CiA 416, CiA is calling for experts. People who are interested in enhancing CiA 416 by additional functions are requested to contact CiA office. Together with the registered people CiA will schedule a first e-meeting, to discuss the next steps.

JTF IG J1939 and SIG encoder/inclinometer

Several companies have launched (rotary and linear) encoders and inclinometers featuring J1939 connectivity. Most of them have implemented parameter groups (PG) using a proprietary PGN (PG number) and a manufacturer-specific mapping of suspect parameters. There are similar products with a CANopen interface supporting the CiA 406 or CiA 410 standardized device profiles. These products provide a higher degree of interoperability than the J1939 variants. In order to improve the interoperability of J1939 encoders and inclinometers, CiA will evaluate the options to standardize parameter groups for such devices. Interested parties may contact CiA office.

Summertime is busy

CiA office is not closed in summertime. There is a lot of specification work ongoing. Several CANopen profile releases are in the pipeline (e.g. CiA profiles for weighing devices and CiA profile for connecting IO-Link sub-networks). Other specifications to be released in the next weeks include the CiA 601-6 CAN FD cable recommendation and the CiA 110 common-mode choke recommendation.

CiA-provided education and training services (save the dates)

Webinars (free-of-charge)


  • 2019-07-04: CAN technology days

Presentation language is English.

Please indicate your participation with or without a table order, with e-mail to events(at)

No regular CiA seminars are scheduled in July, August and September.

If you need CAN-related trainings, please consider requesting an in-house seminar with a tailored agenda. For further information please write to events(at)

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

CiA has 657 members (July 1, 2019).

If you would like to subscribe to the monthly CAN Info Mail please send an e-mail to mail(at)

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