USB interfaces to CAN bus, fast version

September 17, 2014 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Measurement and control systems can access the CAN FD data bus - the "fast" version of the proven CAN bus - through two new USB interface devices from Peak System GmbH. The interfaces can achieve data transfer rates up to 12 Mbps with maximum CAN FD frame size of 64 Bytes. The product is available in two versions - PCAN-USB FD offers a single CAN FD channel while the PCAN-USB Pro FD has two CAN FD and two LIN channels, distributed over two D-Sub connectors

Both products make use of the USB 2.0 standard, ensuring a lower latency than on USB 1.1. Device drivers are available for Windows 8.1, 7, Vista, as well as Linux. The CAN FD channels are each galvanically isolated up to 500 V.

The interfaces come with the PCAN-View for Windows monitoring software which is now obtainable in version 4 as part of the CAN FD enhancements. Besides the previous hexadecimal representation of data, this can now be displayed in decimal or in ASCII format. Moreover, the PC interfaces can be set to listen-only mode for CAN bus analysis. Both PCAN-USB FD and PCAN-USB Pro FD are able to show the physical bus load with PCAN-View and can specifically generate errors in CAN communication.

With version 4, also the free PCAN-Basic API for Windows receives the support of the new standard, allowing the connection of own software to CAN and CAN FD busses.

CAN FD is downward-compatible to the CAN 2.0 A/B standard, thus CAN FD nodes can be used in existing CAN networks. However, in this case the CAN FD extensions are not applicable.

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