CAN FD - Migrate machines and plants easily

Powerful control with CAN FD

Due to its high data security, the CAN bus has also established itself outside of automotive applications and has long been used in industrial automation as well as in safety-relevant areas.

With the further development to CAN FD (Flexible Data Rate) and the standardization in ISO 11898-1:2015, the way is clear for powerful CAN FD applications with speeds of up to 10 Mbit/s and 64 bytes of user data. CAN FD is an option especially where self-contained machine units are to be given better performance with little effort: Up to 8 times higher data throughput can be achieved with the same cabling and infrastructure.

Advantages of a migration to CAN FD

As with the classic CAN protocol, the driving force behind the CAN FD (CAN with flexible data rate) protocol was the automotive manufacturers. In cooperation with Bosch and other experts, work began in 2011 on a solution with the aim of pushing back the existing limits of classic CAN in terms of the maximum achievable data rate or data throughput. At the same time, the proven concepts of the classic CAN protocol (real-time capable bus arbitration, event control, 11- and 29-bit identifiers, multimaster capability) were to be retained. These include, among other things, high robustness against interference, low power requirements, and the use of existing topologies.

The intended goals were achieved by:

  • Retaining the classic CAN concepts in the arbitration and acknowledgement phase as well as in error handling.
  • Increasing the bit rate in the data phase from the previous maximum of 1 Mbit/s to up to 8 Mbit/s [1] and more.
  • Increase in the number of data bytes transmitted in a CAN message from the previous maximum of 8 to 64 bytes.
CAN-PCIe/402-FD gemäß ISO 11898-1:2015

Further information to download as PDF document

The downward compatible design makes it easy to convert CAN applications to the more powerful CAN FD communication without having to change the existing wiring. Alternatively, CAN FD components can also be used as a basis in current CAN applications and simply converted to CAN FD communication at a later date. For this purpose esd electronics offers CAN FD boards with different form factors. The offer ranges from PCI, PCIe, PCIeMini, M.2, CPCI, CPCI Serial, PMC/XMC to AMC, VME, ISA, PC/104, PCI-104 and USB and Ethernet.

Interview with Dirk Flege

Our products with CAN FD support


The CAN-PCI/402 is a PCI board with Altera FPGA for up to 4x CAN which offers a wide choice of hardware designs. Additionally a wide range of operating system support and advanced CAN diagnostic is provided.

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