PEAK System CEO on future of CAN bus

Oct 25, 2021 9:43:52 PM / by Grid Connect Team posted in CAN FD, CANbus, Classic CAN, Interviews

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As a company that specializes in the CAN (Controller Area Network) fieldbus, PEAK-System has a clear view of the CAN horizon. Since the company’s launch in 1999, PEAK has been a leading provider of hardware, software, and services for mobile and industrial communications.

Peak Founder and CEO Uwe Wilhelm shared his thoughts with us on the future of the CAN networking protocol, including his view of Classic CAN and CAN-FD.

Spoiler alert: The reports of Classic CAN’s death are greatly exaggerated!

 

Q: What are your thoughts on this industry sampling of CAN market share projections into 2027?

 

Source: Cognitive Market Research. Request sample or purchase report.

Answer:

CAN FD is the current choice in the automotive sector. The new CAN-XL will certainly be added as a second, new CAN bus standard, with a different usage approach, and Classic CAN is still the standard in automation technology and mechanical engineering, though it is gradually being replaced by CAN-FD.

Whether and when there will also be a change to CAN FD cannot really be foreseen.

With its CANopen FD, the CiA (CAN in Automation) group of international users and manufacturers created a standard years ago that is unfortunately not properly accepted in practice. We hope that this will change in the next 1-2 years. There are currently few certified CANopen FD products to buy and customers mostly use the proven CANopen based on the CAN2.0 protocol for new systems. The classic CAN is hard to think of in electronics development. 

Regardless of the area, the proportion is constantly increasing. Whether in medical technology or in consumer devices such as washing machines or air conditioning systems, simple sensor / actuator connections can be implemented quickly and inexpensively. A huge selection of components can be used, and operating systems such as Linux have included the CAN protocol as an integral part of their distributions for years.

 

Q. When do you think FD shipments will overtake classic CAN, and are there any advance preparations or considerations?

Answer:

Classic CAN (2.0a / b) will probably always be justified and will remain with us for many years to come. In some applications, the CAN-FD simply doesn't make sense. If you don't really need the increased transmission rate and the larger user data, the standard CAN remains the right choice. It's robust, easy to implement, and inexpensive. 

Likewise, the Classic CAN networks, through the CAN transceivers you use, can also cover very low speeds and also support longer CAN networks where it is not about speed but about robustness and network length.

 

Q. What are some industrial examples of CAN usage?

Answer:

Today, CAN is actually used in all technical devices, regardless of the industry. 

  • Agricultural technology
  • Construction machines
  • Robotics of all kinds
  • Medical technology
  • Wind turbines
  • Military vehicles and systems (also known as MilCAN)
  • Planes (CANaerospace)
  • Submarines
  • Satellite systems

You will also find CAN in many niche applications, like the latest planetarium projection systems. We have been working for 15 years with a leading company in this market. 

Of course, the automotive sector is a major user of CAN networking and the most well-known CAN applications are in vehicles—trucks, cars, buses, and trains. The simple network topology and the EMC (ElectroMagnetic Compatibility) safe transmission method are certainly the decisive factors here. 

Likewise, almost every microcontroller family today has derivatives that have integrated one or more CAN buses. There are sensors and actuators from all areas that use CAN, as well as dozens of hardware and software tools for the PC to develop these applications quickly and inexpensively.

 

Q. Let’s shift to PEAK-System—Can you share any new product development plans or product launches?

Answer:

PEAK-System is currently finishing the last work on a new product range to offer service tools for marine applications following the National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) standard. Based on CAN, this standard sets the requirements for a serial data communications network to interconnect marine electronic equipment on vessels, creating the ability to share data, including commands and status, with other compatible equipment over a single channel.

We are also developing solutions under the J1939 open standard for networking and communication in the commercial vehicle sector, focused on the networking of the powertrain. The J1939 protocol, from the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), is a set of standards that define how electronic control units (ECUs) communicate via the CAN bus in heavy-duty vehicles.

We hopefully can begin selling the new Diagnostic Tools in the first quarter of 2022.

Q. How would you describe the relationship between PEAK-System and Grid Connect?

Grid Connect Founder Mike Justice and PEAK Founder Uwe Wilhelm

Grid Connect President Mike Justice (left) with PEAK-System CEO Uwe Wilhelm (right)

Answer:

PEAK-System and Grid Connect have been working very closely together for many years. We still know each other from the days when Grid Connect was still Synergetic.

Mike Justice and I met for the first time in March 1998 at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago, and from then on we always had contact and worked on joint projects together.

Products such as the DeviceNet Detective (first and second generation), which are based on our diagnostic devices, are, for example, only available exclusively from Grid Connect.

Adam (CEO Adam Justice) and Mike (President and Founder Mike Justice) are two reliable business partners, especially in the current situation with the shortage of materials, where we have experienced the importance of our cooperation.

Q. Any final comments about the changes in the automotive industry and development of self-driving vehicles? Will CAN continue to play a role?

Answer:

The number of sensors and the resulting amount of data in current vehicles is increasing from year to year. The security-relevant systems require more and more bandwidth to transmit the information required for this system. CAN and especially CAN-FD are certain to play a not insignificant role. Likewise, the new CAN XL standard will certainly be an enrichment to self-driving cars and will continue to support the whole thing with its new features.

IP-based networks are also used, but simply cannot replace the classic CAN here. The simple connection of sensors and actuators is too great an advantage with CAN that an IP network cannot replace. The main reason is the network topology and costs per node.

For more about PEAK-System

Get a fascinating look at PEAK-System in one of the great videos on the company’s YouTube channel, which starts with footage of Mr. Wilhelm driving his vintage Volkswagen in the scenic German countryside. We highly recommend viewing it for a better understanding of PEAK-System products and capabilities.

 

For more about CAN

The Controller Area Network (CAN) was created in 1983 by Robert Bosch GmbH to provide synchronous communication between processors in automobile systems. While the automotive industry has been a key sector for CAN networking, as the market research above shows, its use has expanded to a variety of industrial and consumer products and processes.

CAN products available from Grid Connect

PEAK-System company website

Development of the CAN bus

About CAN FD

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CAN FD Technology Day in the USA

Jul 19, 2018 10:07:00 AM / by Grid Connect Team posted in CAN FD, In The News

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This September, take part in CAN FD Technology Day, presented by CAN in Automation (CiA).

CAN FD Technology Day brings the latest trends and development in CAN FD to engineers and system integrators in the U.S.

 

Don’t miss out, add it to your calendars now!

September 18, 2018

Irvine, CA

 

For more information and registration please click here.

Shop CAN and CAN FD products here.

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NEW PRODUCT ALERT: PCAN-Router FD - CAN FD & CAN Router

Jul 5, 2016 10:52:48 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in ARM Cortex M4F, C++, CAN, CAN 2.0, CAN FD, General, PCAN-Router FD, Products, programming, router

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pcanrouter2The PCAN-Router FD allows for the conversion between CAN FD and CAN, making it extremely simple to integrate any CAN FD applications into existing CAN 2.0 networks. Used for establishing a connection between any two CAN FDs or CAN busses, this CAN-FD router is a universal, programmable controller based on the powerful ARM Cortex M4F micro controller.

This module is openly programmable, allowing the user to control the module’s behavior and data routing between both of the CAN FD channels. Firmware can be created and transferred to the module with a CAN connection. The user can create firmware with the programming library and GNU compiler for C and C++ programming.

The PCAN-Router FD comes with demo firmware and a corresponding source code. The unit is in an aluminum profile casing and can be shipped with two D-Sub connectors or a screw-terminal strip as needed.

Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 4.49.30 PM

> Learn More

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CAN FD product launches and roadmaps

Mar 1, 2016 12:52:26 PM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in CAN, CAN FD, Cypress, Flexible Data Rate, General, Microchip, networks, PCAN, PCAN USB, PCAN USB FD adapter, PEAK, Renesas

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CAN FD (Flexible Data-rate) is becoming a more prominent feature in many new and upcoming products. STMicroelectronics created a CAN FD starter kit and there was better performance in terms of screen content and speed in comparison to the classical CAN. In addition to this, Cypress, Microchip, and Renesas have also created operational CAN FD networks. The demand for micro-controllers with on-chip CAN FD modules is high; they are currently in development and should be available in about a year. Peak has developed CAN FD interface units, which include PCAN-USB FD adapter. Grid Connect has made a deal with Peak to distribute the CAN FD interface units in the USA. Grid Connect has joined Peak in being one of the early adapters to utilize CAN FD.

Read more: http://can-newsletter.org/hardware/semiconductors/160301_can-fd-product-launches-and-roadmap-annoucements/

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CAN FD – The Next Big (Fast) Thing

Oct 26, 2015 8:52:30 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in arbitration process, automotive, automotive industry, CAN, CAN 2.0, CAN FD, CAN protocol, CANbus, CANopen, Classic CAN, DeviceNet, engines, factory automation, Fast Data, Flexible Data, General, Germany, hardware, in-vehicle communication, internal machine communication, ISO 11898, J1939, PEAK, Peak-System, Products, protocol, software, Technical Support, vehicle, White Papers

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The CAN protocol (ISO 11898) has remained relatively unchanged since it was introduced in 1993 as CAN 2.0 A/B. In the last few years, CAN FD (for Flexible Data rate or “Fast Data” as we like to call it) was introduced and is now defined as ISO 11898-1. The CAN FD protocol is backward compatible. Any CAN FD device can understand CAN 2.0 frames (now known as “Classic CAN”). However, the opposite is not true. If a Classic CAN node encounters a CAN FD frame, it will destroy the packet with an error frame.

Classic CAN has been the de facto standard for in-vehicle communication for the automotive industry since the 90s. CAN has also been used as the lower-layer protocol for a number of other “higher-layer” protocols such as CANopen, J1939, DeviceNet and more. This has resulted in the CAN protocol being widely deployed in factory automation, heavy-duty vehicles and engines, and internal machine communication – such as elevators and medical equipment.

The automotive industry is the main driver behind the adaptation of CAN FD. The complexity of software in automobiles has increased over time, and the number of systems that communicate with each other via CAN bus has also increased. Between 1990 and 2000, the number of in-vehicle bus nodes went from about 10 nodes to more than 40 systems. This trend has continued into the 21st century, as in-vehicle communication demands have put further and further strain on vehicle design, causing an ever increasing number of CAN bus networks in the vehicle. Through the adaption of CAN FD, in-vehicle communication architectures will be able to accomplish more with less!

The basic idea of CAN FD is to speed up the bit rate during the “payload” part of a CAN frame. In this way up to 8 times more payload (64 bytes vs. 8 bytes) can be delivered in the same amount of time. So the beginning and end of the frame are transmitted at “Classic CAN” speeds, and the CAN transceivers just flip a switch and speed up for the payload part of the message. When you consider that the rest of the frame is at slower speeds, the overall increase in speed is about 6 times faster. Not all messages need 64 bytes of data of course, so the diagram below shows how a CAN FD message of 8 bits and 64 bytes compare to a Classic CAN frame of 8 bytes.

CANFDdiagram

The question is why didn’t CAN FD just speed up the whole message? Why just the payload? The answer requires a slightly deeper understanding of the CAN protocol. A basic element of the CAN protocol is its arbitration process. When two nodes transmit at the same instant, their messages “collide” and they must both “back-off” and retransmit at different intervals according to priority. Another basic element of the protocol is that nodes on a bus must be reached within a “bit time” during this arbitration. The notion of a “bit time” has implications on the length of the bus – the actual cable, since electrical signals have a finite propagation speed. Therefore, a CAN bus running with 1 Mbit/s has a maximum length of 40 meters by rule of thumb. If CAN FD sped up the whole bus, the higher bit rates would shorten the bus cable to unsuitable lengths.

The automotive industry is readying itself to start initial implementation of CAN FD in its designs for 2016, with vehicles hitting the market with CAN FD hardware the following year. As this industry ramps up and more and more ECU’s (in-vehicle “Electronic Control Units) and sensors and actuators also adapt CAN FD, more companies with ties to automotive (suppliers, service companies, dealers, OEMs, etc.) will need CAN FD-capable interfaces. Luckily, Peak-System from Germany is one of the first companies to introduce a CAN-FD interface, (PCAN-USB-FD), and it has been fully tested to the standard. Additional hardware and software supporting CAN FD are on the way. Grid Connect has Peak’s CAN FD products in stock now – we are ready for the next big (fast) thing!

> Click here to download the complete CAN FD White Paper

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New Product Alert: CAN USB PRO FD Adapter - 2 Channels: CAN & LIN

Mar 13, 2015 1:11:58 PM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in adapter cables, CAN, CAN FD, CAN USB PRO FD, General, hardware, LIN, PCAN-Light, PCAN USB, PCAN-USB-PRO, PCAN-View, PLIN, PLIN-API, Products, software, USB Port, Windows

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canusbprofd_1The PCAN-USB-PRO FD adapter connects a USB port to CAN and LIN networks. Two CAN/LIN buses can be connected at the same time, with up to software four connections available using appropriate adapter cables (2 x CAN, 2 x LIN). The CAN USB PRO FD is housed in a robust aluminum casing making the PCAN-USB Pro FD adapter suitable for all types of applications.

The CAN USB Pro FD supports the new CAN FD standard and is 100% hardware & software compatible to the original CAN USB Pro adapter. The new PCAN-USB driver version 4 must be used.

The CAN USB Pro FD includes the software:

  • PCAN-View for Windows
  • LIN monitor PLIN-View for Windows
  • Software programming interfaces PCAN-Light and PLIN-API

Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 4.49.30 PM

 

> More Information

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New Product Alert: CAN USB FD Adapter (PCAN-USB FD)

Feb 4, 2015 7:45:58 AM / by Brittney Borowicz posted in CAN 2.0, CAN bus, CAN FD, CAN networks, CAN USB FD Adapter, data transfer, Flexible Data Rate, General, mobile, PCAN-USB FD, Products

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pcan-usb-fd_webPart Number: GC-CAN-USB-FD
MPN: IPEH-004022

YOUR PRICE: $399.00

Connect CAN FD and CAN networks to a computer via USB with the CAN USB FD adapter. A galvanic isolation of up to 500 Volts decouples the PC from the CAN bus. The simple handling and its compact plastic casing make the adapter suitable for mobile applications.The new CAN FD standard (CAN with Flexible Data Rate) is primarily characterized by higher bandwidth for data transfer. The maximum of 64 data bytes per CAN FD frame (instead of 8 so far) can be transmitted with bit rates up to 12 Mbit/s. CAN FD is downward-compatible to the CAN 2.0 A/B standard, thus CAN FD nodes can be used in existing CAN networks. However, in this case the CAN FD extensions are not applicable.  >  More Information
Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 4.49.30 PM
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