CAN Controllers

A controller area network (CAN) is a specialised internal communication network that connects microcontrollers and devices so that they can communicate with each other via message-based protocols without the need for a computer host. They are an important part of the communications network in vehicles, known as the 'bus'. Each CAN controller on the bus is called a node. Each node is configured to receive data from the sensor equipment and transmit it to a PC. 

What are CAN controllers used for?

CAN controllers facilitate communication amongst devices in a small range network and are commonly used in automotive applications. These controllers are also typical in the medical instrument industry, factory automation mechanisms and to support semiconductor-based machinery in a variety of sectors.

Types of CAN controllers

CAN controllers come in two types: 

  • Integrated, meaning there is more than one controller on the CAN bus (network system). The integrated controller requires less space and facilitates faster and more reliable communication to the microcontroller.
  • Standalone, meaning there is a single controller on the CAN bus (network system). An independent CAN controller functions as a memory chip allowing flexibility of data transmission. 

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