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CAN

controller area network

CAN (Controller Area Network) is a serial communication protocol that was originally developed for the automobile industry. CAN is far superior to conventional serial technologies such as RS232 in regards to functionality and reliability and yet CAN implementations are more cost effective. CANopen, a higher layer protocol based on CAN, provides the means to apply the ingenious CAN features to a variety of industrial-strength applications. Many users, for example in the field of medical engineering, opted for CANopen because they have to meet particularly stringent safety requirements. Similar requirements had to be considered by manufacturers of other equipment with very high safety or reliability requirements (e.g. robots, lifts and transportation systems).

Providing a detailed look at both CAN and CANopen, this book examines those technologies in the context of embedded networks. There is an overview of general embedded networking and an introduction to the primary functionality provided by CANopen. Everything one needs to know to configure and operate a CANopen network using off-the-shelf components is described, along with details for those designers who want to build their own CANopen nodes. The wide variety of applications for CAN and CANopen is discussed, and instructions in developing embedded networks based on the protocol are included. In addition, references and examples using MicroCANopen, PCANopen Magic, and Vector's high-end development tools are provided.