The controller area network (CAN) is a very popular serial data bus widely used in automobiles, factory automation, and other industrial applications. A newer enhanced version, designated CAN-FD (flexible data-rate), provides higher speeds and other improvements.
As many designers have discovered, CAN often requires electrical isolation between nodes and protection from high-voltage transients that regularly occur in automotive and industrial environments. Some recently announced CAN transceivers are now available to deliver the latest CAN-FD performance along with the essential isolation. Protection solutions are also available in the form of external discrete components connected to the bus.
CAN is a serial interface standard developed by Robert Bosch and blessed by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) back in the 1980s. Since then, because of its flexibility and ruggedness, it’s been widely adopted in vehicles and many industrial applications. The topology is a differential bus using shielded or unshielded twisted pair that can accommodate up to 127 nodes. All of the nodes are transceivers that can send and receive. Standard transceiver ICs are available, but many microcontrollers have an integrated CAN interface.