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Terminology

Harmonized transceiver naming

CiA has agreed on names for two transceiver approaches: CAN SIC transceiver and CAN SIC XL transceiver. Recommended are the terms CAN high-speed and CAN FD transceivers for two other technologies.

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The nonprofit CiA (CAN in Automation) association has harmonized the naming of different transceiver technologies used in CAN networks. CiA asked the CAN community to use for transceivers compliant with the CiA 601‑4 specification the term CAN SIC (signal improvement circuitry) transceiver in datasheets and product descriptions. Components compliant with CiA 610‑3 shall be named CAN SIC XL transceiver.

For the transceiver technologies specified in ISO 11898‑2:2016, which are available since some years, a harmonized naming is not easy to achieve, because there are already published many data sheets. Nevertheless, CiA recommends using the term CAN high‑speed transceiver for legacy products limited to bit-rates of 1 Mbit/s. Products supporting the improved optional parameters of ISO 11898‑2:2016 should be named CAN FD transceiver not indicating any bit-rate. It is assumed that in the future just CAN FD transceiver with the most-strict parameters will be offered.

There are also other transceiver technologies used in CAN networks. There is the so-called CAN low‑speed transceiver, which complies with the ISO 11898‑3 standard. Another approach is standardized in ISO 11992‑1: It is dedicated for a point‑to‑point CAN network connecting trucks and trailers. The Single-wire CAN (SWC) transceiver is specified in SAE J2411; but is not used frequently.

In order to avoid misunderstandings, CAN SIC transceivers can be connected to Classical CAN, CAN FD, and CAN XL protocol controllers. If the bit-rate is limited to 1 Mbit/s, CAN high-speed transceivers might be used in Classical CAN, CAN FD, or CAN XL networks. CAN FD transceivers are also suitable for Classical CAN networks; they are also appropriate for CAN FD networks with not so challenging topologies. The CAN SIC XL transceiver implements the MICI (medium-independent CAN interface), so it can only be connected to CAN protocol controllers supporting this interface.

This scalability of CAN transceiver approaches enables the network designer to choose the technology, which meets the application requirements regarding performance and price. CAN XL protocol controllers with MICI allow also CAN FD and Classical CAN communication.

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