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CAN-BUS (Controller area network)
Controller–area network (CAN or CAN-bus) is a vehicle bus standard designed to allow microcontrollers and devices to communicate with each other within a vehicle without a host computer.
CAN is a message based protocol, designed specifically for automotive applications but now also used in other areas such as industrial automation and medical equipment.
Development of the CAN-bus started originally in 1983 at Robert Bosch GmbH. The protocol was officially released in 1986 at the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) congress in Detroit, Michigan. The first CAN controller chips, produced by Intel and Philips, came on the market in 1987. Bosch published the CAN 2.0 specification in 1991.
CAN is one of five protocols used in the OBD-II vehicle diagnostics standard, mandatory for all cars and light trucks sold in the United States since 1996, and the EOBD standard, mandatory for all petrol vehicles sold in the European Union since 2001 and all diesel vehicles since 2004.
A modern automobile may have as many as 70 electronic control units (ECU) for various subsystems. Typically the biggest processor is the engine control unit, which is also referred to as “ECU” in the context of automobiles; others are used for transmission, airbags, antilock braking, cruise control, audio systems, windows, doors, mirror adjustment, etc. Some of these form independent subsystems, but communications among others are essential. A subsystem may need to control actuators or receive feedback from sensors. The CAN standard was devised to fill this need.
The CAN bus may be used in vehicles to connect engine control unit and transmission, or (on a different bus) to connect the door locks, climate control, seat control, etc. Today the CAN bus is also used as a fieldbus in general automation environments, primarily due to the low cost of some CAN Controllers and processors.
Bosch holds patents on the technology, and manufacturers of CAN-compatible microprocessors pay license fees to Bosch, which are normally passed on to the customer in the price of the chip. Manufacturers of products with custom ASICs or FPGAs containing CAN-compatible modules may need to pay a fee for the CAN Protocol License.