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CES 2020

Data-loggers for Classical CAN and CAN FD

Intrepid (USA) shows on the CES 2020 its NeoVI Fire and NeoVI Red data loggers. They provide multiple CAN and LIN interfaces.

The NeoVI Red data-logger is low-cost variant of the NeoVI Fire featuring two CAN and two LIN interfaces (Source: Intrepid)

The CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas is the first tradeshow of the 20’s decade. More than 4500 companies exhibit their products and prototypes of not yet available things. This exhibition takes place from January 7th to 10th and is a must for the automotive industry. Every major and emerging industry is represented, the entire technology ecosystem gathered together. This includes also tools such as data-loggers with Classical CAN and CAN FD. CiA member Intrepid presents in the North Hall (LVCC, 3321) its tool portfolio including the NeoVI Fire and NeoVI Red data-loggers. The data-loggers are equipped with three DSPs (digital-signal processors) and one RISC (reduced instruction set computer) processor.

The NeoVI Red data-logger comes with two CAN and two LIN interfaces. It is also equipped with generic I/O that can be configured to trigger an external data acquisition system. The NeoVI Fire data-loggers provides six CAN and four LIN interfaces. The products support all kinds of CAN physical layer approaches: CAN FD with transceivers qualified for 5 Mbit/s, Classical CAN with high-speed transceivers, low-speed fault-tolerant transceivers, or single-wire transceivers. The CAN interfaces support the listen-only mode and for Classical CAN automatic bit-rate detection.

All CAN and LIN channels run simultaneously and are time-stamped in hardware. The galvanic-isolated USB interface allows a PC to send and receive messages without worry of damage. The LIN interfaces comply with the SAE J2602 specification, which is superseded by the ISO 17987 series. SAE is working on a recommended practice document for ISO 17987 networks clarifying the usage of optional features.

In addition to operating as a PC interface, the data-loggers also work in standalone mode, which allows them to run real-time scripts, log data to a removable microSD card, and simulate ECUs and gateways. With these features, it is also possible to run a script to re-flash ECUs using data from microSD cards.

“Our Vehicle Spy software fully supports the NeoVI Fire and NeoVI Red,” said Dave Robins, Intrepid’s CEO, who is excited for the return of the roaring 20’s. Users can use the software to monitor and transmit on connected networks simultaneously. Vehicle Spy is used (and required) to configure standalone mode. Users can take advantage of the powerful interface to load databases, and to write and debug scripts before downloading them to the device. “Some of our customers prefer to write their own software,” explained Robins. “To support these users, our data-loggers are compatible with three open APIs: NeoVI DLL API, SAE J2534 API and the TMC RP1210 A/B API. The DLL API includes examples for all popular development environments, including C#, VB.Net, VB6, Delphi, C++ Builder, Visual C++, Labview, and Labwindows.”

The provided DLL (dynamic-link library) supports SAE J2534 and RP1210. DLL is Microsoft's implementation of the shared library concept. Besides Windows, Linux operating systems can be used, too.

SAE J2534 and RP1210 support

SAE J2534-1 specifies a Classical CAN interface that can be used to reprogram emission-related control modules. SAE J2534-2 describes detailed extensions to the SAE J2534-1 specification to support vehicles prior to the 2004 model year. Together, these extensions provide the framework for a common interface to protect the software investment of the OEMs and Scan Tool manufacturers.

For CAN FD usage, General Motors has released the GMW 17753 document in 2017. It describes how to use CAN FD within the framework of SAE J2534-2. This implementation utilizes the manufacture discretionary features defined in the SAE J2534 standard. The intent is to add support of the CAN FD protocol with minimal changes to existing applications and interfaces. This approach supports data-fields up to 64 byte and data-phase bit-rates up to 5 Mbit/s. The GM document references the SAE J1962 diagnostic connector for on-board diagnostic purposes. Additionally, the SAE J2284-5 recommendation for CAN FD and the ISO 15765-2 transport layer protocols are referenced.

The RP1210 is a programming interface classified as a recommended practice that is used for accessing diagnostic interfaces in the truck environment. It is used to access the J1939 networks. The main application areas are programming, diagnostics and analysis, whereby similar to the case of the SAE J2534-1, the diagnostic interface can be used regardless of the OEM.

Real-time scripting engine

The data-loggers include a real-time scripting engine that can perform real-time messaging. For example, someone creating an application can load a script into the hardware and interface with the script variables, allowing microsecond-level measurement and control. Vehicle Spy has a new feature called hardware acceleration, which can be configured to send real-time functions to the device such as periodic messaging, replaying, or scripting.

The data-loggers are capable of logging to a removable microSD card, which uses a real-time fail-safe FAT32 storage format. They also include a real-time clock for hardware time-stamping of all messages. Finally, a power management system automatically powers down the data-loggers and can wake it up based on network activity or detection of a PC being connected.


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