Next Steps: CAN FD and Higher Layer Protocols

This course has provided an introduction to the Classical CAN bus. We have discussed the physical layer, the message structure, error frames, and more.

This information describes CAN as it was known from the original adoption in 1986 until 2011 – what is now being called “Classical CAN”. In 2011, however, Bosch began development of a new iteration of CAN – dubbed “CAN FD”. The “FD” stands for “flexible data rate”.

Since 2011, CAN FD has been adopted as the next generation of CAN, seeing continued refinement in SAE specification meetings and implementation by chip and tool makers.

To learn more about CAN FD – what it is and what it can accomplish – please continue on to take the course: “CAN FD” [COMING SOON].

You may also be interested to learn more about “Higher Layer Protocols”. As we’ve seen, the CAN standard defines the hardware (“the physical layer” – there are several) and the communication on a basic level (“the data link layer”). But, in essence, the CAN protocol itself simply specifies how to transport small packets of data from point A to point B using a shared communications medium. In order to manage the communication within a system, a higher layer protocol (HLP) is required.

Higher Layer Protocols can be standardized for widespread use, or proprietary.

Widely used HLPs include:

  • J1939: This specification describes best practices for communication and diagnostics on vehicles. Learn More >>
  • CANopen: CANopen is a communication protocol and device profile specification for embedded systems used in automation. Learn More >>
  • NMEA 2000: NMEA 2000 (sometimes abbreviated to NMEA2k or N2K ) is a plug-and-play communications standard used for connecting marine sensors and display units within ships and boats. Learn More >>

Next Steps:

To learn more about CAN FD, visit the CAN FD page.

To learn more about Higher Layer Protocols, visit the Kvaser education page.

Back to: CAN Protocol Tutorial > Next Steps