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CAN FD IP core

ISO and non-ISO compliance

A new version of the Classical CAN and CAN FD Bus Controller Core is now available from Cast (US). It supports both the current non-ISO and upcoming ISO specifications.

Typical internal structure of a CAN controller with protocol engine and internal message buffers (Photo: Cast)

THE FIRST CAN FLEXIBLE DATA SOFT IP CORE for ASICs and FPGAs on the market (in January 2014), the controller core is also believed to be the first soft core to undergo testing at a CANopen plug fest (in March 2015). It is also the first to support both Bosch’s original CAN FD specification as well as the ISO version of the CAN FD specification expected to be ratified later this year. Cast sources the core from partner Fraunhofer IPMS; early transceiver chips developed by customer ON Semiconductor were used in the plug fest.

“The FD version of the CAN bus is rapidly replacing other technologies in automobile and other systems, and several Cast customers have already gotten a jump on their competition by using this early controller core,” said Nikos Zervas, chief operating officer for Cast. “We’ve now put the core through the torture test of a plug fest and also added support for the ISO version, and we believe this to be the easiest, least-risky, and most cost-effective way for designers to integrate CAN FD in a wide variety of systems and products.”

The new version of the Classical CAN and CAN FD Bus Controller Core already conforms to the ISO standard —and to the Classical CAN (ISO 11898) and non-ISO CAN FD protocol—and is available today in synthesizable RTL for ASICs or optimized netlists for FPGAs. A ready-to-run Talos CAN FD Reference Design Board and other development aids are also available.

The evolution of the CAN FD specification has been an interesting process. It passed a first ISO ballot in the summer of 2014. As designers began using it, weaknesses in its data link protocol were detected, and fixed. The changes have little impact on most early design work, but do require a new spec. As Holger Zeltwanger, CiA managing director, said: “The year 2014 was somehow challenging for the CAN FD community. But it is better to detect problems before the serial production has started.” It is expected that the corrected “ISO” standard 11898-1 will be approved later this year.