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15th iCC

Focus on CAN FD

About 100 attendees listened in Vienna to 22 presentations and one ad hoc paper. Many talks were related to CAN FD technology.

Dr. Marc Schreiner (Daimler) talked about his CAN FD system design research results (Photo: CiA)

THE 15th INTERNATIONAL CAN CONFERENCE (iCC) took place in Vienna (Austria) on October 27 and 28. The event was accompanied by a tabletop exhibition. Besides presentations on the CAN FD physical layer and the reliability of the CAN FD protocol, the speakers discussed migration options from Classical CAN to CAN FD. Another CAN FD topic was the adaptation of existing higher-layer protocols such as ISO 15765-2 and J1939. All presentations are documented in the iCC proceedings. They can be purchased from CiA office. Not included is the ad hoc presentation about CAN FD and airborne standardization. But the slides of this talk will be provided as PDF file.

Details on FD Shield and FD Filter

NXP presented in detail its FD Shield transceiver add-on circuitry. It hides CAN FD frames to the Classical CAN controller. Kvaser launched a similar idea: The FD Filter also hides CAN FD frames to legacy CAN controllers not supporting CAN FD. Both solutions can be implemented in transceiver chips. Another migration path from Classical CAN to CAN FD was presented by Microchip. Its CAN FD stand-alone controller can be added to legacy ECUs. The chipmaker will provide also stand-alone controllers with integrated transceivers qualified for bit-rates higher than 1 Mbit/s. The stand-alone controller and transceivers were shown at the tabletop exhibition.

Besides the official program, there were interesting discussions between the attendees during the breaks in the tabletop exhibition area (Photo: CiA)

The availability of ISO CAN FD implementations was a topic manly discussed in the breaks. Cypress and Renesas showed samples of their micro-controllers supporting CAN FD. ST Microelectronics has also CAN FD capable MCUs, but was not an exhibitor. Infineon pre-announced micro-controllers featuring ISO CAN FD connectivity and transceivers qualified for CAN FD. The Fraunhofer IPMS exhibited its CAN FD core, which is available from Cast.

CAN FD applications

Daimler will use CAN FD in its next car platforms. Other carmakers are still evaluating the introduction of CAN FD. It is not a question if they will migrate to CAN FD. The question is just the date. Conference participants from Audi, Daimler, Hyundai, Porsche, Renault, and Toyota discussed during the breaks their experiences and requirements.

Porsche presented an interesting paper about intelligent headlight systems using a deeply embedded CAN network controlling the LED matrix. This lighting system is able to avoid blending upcoming drivers. They can even distinguish between cars and two bikers. However, the CAN network’s bandwidth is already at its limits. CAN FD providing a higher throughput is an option to overcome this.

The main challenge in CAN FD is the physical layer design. Daimler reported about its internal research on possible topologies. Infineon discussed the new parameters of the ISO 11898-2 standard and its impact on system design. The University of Brighton presented its simulation results using the SAE benchmark message set. The performance analysis was realized for worst-case message delays, average message delays, and bus utilizations. The c&s group discussed in its paper an automated model based design flow for the design of robust CAN FD networks. In particular, the asymmetry on different signals within a network needs to be simulated, in order to improve the robustness.

Other topics

The iCC comprised also other topics such as security in CAN networks. Bosch presented a solution based on a CAN protocol extension. Another topic was CAN and the Internet of Things (IoT). TKE discussed a solution for CANopen already used in the mobile machine industry. Rosenbauer gave an overview on the CAN usage in firefighting trucks. The CNR-IEIIT institute introduced a coding method for the payload, which avoids stuff-bits. This results in messages, which don’t vary in length depending on the content.