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Description Of A Controller Area Network

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A controller area network (CAN) is a specialized internal communications network that interconnects components inside a vehicle (e.g. automobile, bus, train, industrial or agricultural vehicle, ship, or aircraft), designed to allow microcontrollers and devices to communicate with each other in applications without a host computer (G. Stoeger et al, 2003). It is a message-based embedded application which was, initially designed for automotive applications, but is also used in many other applications. In the past, automotive manufacturers connected electronic devices in vehicles using point-to-point wiring systems. As manufacturers began using more and more electronics in vehicles, it resulted in bulky wire harnesses that were heavy and…show more content…
Also, the error confinement and the error detection feature make it more reliable in noise critical environment (H. Saha, 2006).

Figure1. CAN networks significantly reduce wiring.
(Source: http://www.ni.com/white-paper/2732/en/)
CAN works as a multi-master, message broadcast system in a peer-to-peer network. Unlike traditional networks such as USB or Ethernet which usually involves a sever domain network which controls how to transfer data, CAN does not send large blocks of data using point-to-point from node A to another node B under the supervision of a central bus master (M. Barranco, L. Almeida, and J. Proenza, 2006) when individual nodes have access to read and write data on the CAN bus, for a CAN network, many short messages are broadcast to the entire network, which requires a need for data consistency in every node connected to the system (J. Rushby, 2003).It uses Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision Detection with Arbitration on Message Priority (CSMA/CD+AMP),an application which has a conflict-resolving algorithm that provides the "rules" or the protocol for transmitting and receiving information via the bus. All devices (nodes) on the network receive the multicast/ broadcast message on the network, but each node determine if the message is relevant to them based by an identifier. Data messages transmitted from any node on a CAN bus do not contain addresses of either the transmitting node i.e. where it came from or of any
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