CAN Data Transfer Process and Message Structure

Now that you've learned the basics in Intro to CAN Bus, we're going to take an in-depth look at how the CAN bus protocol transfers data.
Now that you've learned the basics in Intro to CAN Bus, we're going to take an in-depth look at how the CAN bus protocol transfers data.
We'll examine the stages of the transfer process, and we'll decode a sample CAN bus message frame.
We'll examine the stages of the transfer process, and we'll decode a sample CAN bus message frame.
And we'll reveal the mechanics behind a CAN bus superpower - how communication occurs without a host controller or computer governing the network!
And we'll reveal the mechanics behind a CAN bus superpower - how communication occurs without a host controller or computer governing the network!

Standards

There are 2 architectures that can be used in the physical CAN bus network. (We have been using high-speed CAN networks in all of our examples.)

Low-Speed CAN

  • Specified by ISO 11898-3
  • Speed of up to 125 kb/s, over a maximum distance of 500 m
  • Low-speed CAN is very fault tolerant!
  • Each device on the network must handle termination.

High-Speed CAN

  • Specified by ISO 11898-2
  • Speed of up to up to 1 Mb/s, over a maximum distance of 40 m
  • High-speed CAN is very common in new vehicles.
  • The CAN bus cable is terminated at both ends. The nodes do not handle termination.
For now, it's enough just to be aware that the two forms of CAN bus networks exist. Don't worry about memorizing the specifications for each!
For now, it's enough just to be aware that the two forms of CAN bus networks exist. Don't worry about memorizing the specifications for each!

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We hope you enjoyed CAN Data Transfer Process and Message Structure

This lesson has been adapted from Kiril Mucevski's original published work, Automotive CAN Bus System Explained, with his permission.

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