What Is Controller Area Network (CAN)?

Controller Area Network (CAN) is a vehicle bus standard that enables microcontrollers and devices to communicate with each other within a vehicle. CAN is a message-based protocol originally designed for automotive applications, but it is also used in industrial automation and other areas.

CAN FD is a newer standard that supports higher speeds and larger data frames than CAN. Whereas CAN is limited to speeds of 1Mbit/sec and data frames of 8 bytes, CAN FD can be used to send data at 5Mbits/sec using data frames of 64 bytes.

Vehicle Network Toolbox™ provides MATLAB® functions and Simulink® blocks for sending, receiving, encoding, and decoding CAN and CAN FD messages.

Design and test engineers use Vehicle Network Toolbox to connect directly to Controller Area Network busses via a variety of CAN interface hardware to perform tasks such as:

  • Testing and debugging controls algorithms by replaying CAN messages collected during in-vehicle tests
  • Filtering, encoding, and decoding CAN messages to support testing, simulation, and analysis
  • Calibrating ECUs by sending and receiving messages using XCP protocol over CAN

For more information, see MATLAB, Simulink, and Vehicle Network Toolbox.

See also: data acquisition, test and measurement