CAN Info Mail

This monthly email is for all CAN fellows.
September 2019

A word from the CiA Managing Director

Harmonizing and standardizing of terms is an important issue to avoid misunderstandings and misinterpretations. These are the fundamental criterias:

  • a term should be linguistically correct;
  • it should reflect, as far as possible, the characteristics of the concept which it represents;
  • it should be concise;
  • it should be able to generate to other forms; and
  • there should only be one term for a single concept.

CiA’s Technical Committee has started to provide a CAN-specific glossary of terms used in CiA specifications. This database of terms will be extended.

One of the most important issues is the correct use of OSI layer specific terms. “Frame” (D-PDU, data link process data unit) is a term of the data link layer, “packet” (N-PDU) is a term of the network layer, “segment” (T-PDU) is a term of the transport layer, and “message” (A-PDU) is a term of the application layer. This means, there is no “CAN message” at all, there are only “CAN data frames” (D-PDU). Of course, there are “CANopen messages” or “J1939 messages”. They are A-PDUs.

Another example is the widely misuse of “PGN (parameter group number)” as a synonym for “PG (parameter group)”. SAE has started already to review and improve the J1939 documents. Other standardization bodies specifying J1939-based services and protocols such as ISO 11783 (Isobus), ISO 11992, and ISO 16844 (tachograph) will do the same.

CiA office is also improving its documents regarding a standardized terminology. What means this for you? You should look to your datasheets, handbooks, and other documentation of CAN-based products, in order to use appropriate terms. This avoids a lot of customer requests. At the end, this saves your time and resources.


Do not forget: iCC abstract submission

The deadline for submitting iCC abstracts is coming soon: It is September 16, 2019. One week later, the iCC program committee evaluates the abstracts and forms the 17th iCC (international CAN Conference) program. CiA provides smartphone-optimized iCC webpages.

New CiA documents released

In the last few weeks, CiA has released some specifications:

  • CiA 306 series (CANopen electronic device description) with some editorial updates and an updated part specifying tool integration with reference designators
  • CiA 406 (CANopen encoder profile) with some improvements regarding functional safety (e.g. example of a safe configuration)
  • CiA 462 (CANopen weighing device profile) completed by scale and HMI profile
  • CiA 601-4 (CAN FD signal improvement) completely revised introducing so-called SIC (signal improvement capability) transceivers

These specifications are all in DSP (draft standard proposal) status and are available for CiA members. It is expected that CiA 601-4 will be moved soon to DS (draft standard) status. Non-members can purchase such DS documents by means of a subscribing to a CiA series.

CAN Newsletter magazine

The September issue of the CAN Newsletter magazine is available for free download. It comprises articles about CANopen motion control, CAN transceivers with integrated galvanic isolation, and a CAN-based monitoring system for spindle bearings. Several interviews complete the editorial contents.

CiA at Interlift 2019

The Interlift tradeshow takes place in Augsburg (Germany) from October 15 to 18. It is the worldwide most important exhibition for lift/elevator suppliers. As usual CiA is present with its own stand (hall 2, 2149). This year, several CiA members show their CANopen Lift (CiA 417) compliant devices on the CiA booth. CiA staff is available to discuss new technical features of the CiA 417 profile series.

CiA-provided education and training (save the dates)


Seminar language is German.

Webinars (free-of-charge):


  • 2019-10-10: CAN technology days, Krakow (PL)

Presentation English language.

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

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

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

CiA has 678 members (September 3, 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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