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Controller Area Network (CAN) is the most widely-used automotive bus architecture. Development of the CAN bus started in 1983 at Bosch, a world leading multinational  engineering and electronics company headquartered in Gerlingen, near Stuttgart, Germany.

The protocol was officially released in 1986 at the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) conference in Detroit, Michigan. The first CAN controller chips, produced by Intel and Philips, came on the market in 1987. Released in 1991 the Mercedes-Benz W140 was the first production vehicle to feature a CAN-based multiplex wiring system.

To say CAN was badly needed is an understatement. Before CAN some vehicles contained up to 3 miles of cabling. A bus architecture is the only way to keep the volume of wiring from becoming unmanageable.

The modern automobile may have as many as 70 electronic control units (ECU) for various subsystems. Typically the biggest processor is the engine control unit. Others are used for transmission, airbags, antilock braking/ABS, cruise control, electric power steering, audio systems, power windows, doors, mirror adjustment, battery and recharging systems for hybrid/electric cars, etc.

Some of these form independent subsystems, but communications among others are essential. A subsystem may need to control actuators or receive feedback from sensors.

The CAN standard was devised to fill this need. One key advantage is that interconnection between different vehicle systems can allow a wide range of safety, economy and convenience features to be implemented using software alone — functionality which would add cost and complexity if such features were “hard wired” using traditional automotive electronics.

CAN is a very reliable multi-master serial bus system with multi-drop capabilities. The bus arbitration method is the same for both CAN data link layer protocols. The CAN messages are broadcasted. This means every node is able to consume any message produced by any other node in the CAN bus system.

Although originally developed for use as an in-vehicle network in passenger cars, nowadays CAN is used in many other industries. This includes applications in any kind of transportation system (rail vehicle, aircraft, marine, etc.), in industrial machine control systems, in home and building automation (e.g. HVAC, elevators), in mobile machines (construction and agriculture equipment), in medical devices and laboratory automation, as well as in many other embedded and deeply embedded applications.

Each year, about 1 billion CAN nodes are sold. Compared to the expense of rewiring an entire vehicle, the price for CAN protocol controllers is very reasonable.

CAN Training

Tonex offers a 2-day Controller Area Network Training course.  Participants are exposed to a wide range of topics, including:

  • Principles of Controller Area Network (CAN)
  • Technical introduction to serial bus systems
  • Controller Area Network (CAN) implementation in  Embedded Systems
  • CAN protocol and other standards such as J2284, J2411, and J1939
  • CAN physical and data link layers in some details
  • J1939/71 Recommended Practice for Vehicle Application Layer
  • CAN application layers standards, regulations, and implementation requirements
  • The SAE standards, J1939 Automotive Engineering Recommended Practice for a Serial Control and Communications Vehicle Network
  • CAN architecture and protocols
  • CAN controller programming
  • CAN physical and data link  layers
  • CAN (Controller Area Network) characteristics of the physical layer (High-/Low-Speed-CAN)
  • Bus access methods, framing, bit timing, bit stuffing
  • Automotive Networks and CAN Bus topology

Who Should Attend

  • Design and test engineers
  • Programmers and technicians
  • Verification and valuation engineers
  • Embedded hardware and software engineers
  • Project managers

The Tonex Way

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