CAN Bus Principle

CAN, which stands for Controller Area Network, was developed by Bosch of Germany in 1986 to take care of growing demand of electronic control systems in automobile industries. CAN is a serial communication bus protocol standardized by the International Standards Organization (ISO). It does not use a master–slave or a token-passing method to access the bus. Instead it uses a unique bus access control method, called “nondestructive bitwise arbitration.”

It is a very simple, highly reliable, and prioritized communication protocol among sensors, actuators, and intelligent devices. A producer– consumer technique is applied to access the physical medium based on carrier sense multiple access with collision detection (CSMA-CD). It is a deterministic method to resolve collision/conflict on the bus by taking recourse to bus contention. The system thus uses the full bandwidth of the medium.

CAN refers to a network of independent controllers. It supports distributed real-time control with a very high level of security. The different controls in an automotive vehicle are of different data types requiring multibus lines to be sent to the controller. This resulted in many wires leading to various problems. CAN was developed to effectively address the above and became a standard for vehicle networking. It has since been applied to numerous fields for control purposes.