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Physical Layer

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The physical layer consists of the transceiver, the optional controller area network (CAN) choke, electrical coupling and optional EMC – Electro Magnetic Compatibility – and electrostatic discharge (ESD) circuitry, the connector, the communication cabling to the other network CAN modules, and the termination of the network. The layout of these components influences significantly network speed, noise immunity and emission, power consumption, cost, etc.

Therefore, one subsection is devoted to the layout of the network topologies, explaining its various architectures and the significance of their components and the communication properties. It is shown that simulation is an appropriate means for the electrical components layout due to the complexity of the overall network. Because of the many components with their widespread tolerances and frequency nonlinearity, an analytic layout approach is not feasible.

Another section focuses on EMC—electromagnetic compatibility—characteristics. The influence of the components on noise immunity and noise emission is explained. Some guidelines for the layout are given and a measurement technique is shown allowing to compare the EMC characteristics of different transceiver implementations.

Reduction of power consumption in networked systems is an important design goal. Therefore, “partial networking” had been introduced. Transceivers with partial networking capabilities can put bus participants to sleep—low-power consumption—while being able to wake up part of the network. This section explains the philosophy and depicts some corresponding semiconductor implementations.

A final section is about the architecture, the functionality, and the operation of standard high-speed and low-speed CAN transceivers.


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Correspondence to Cornelius Butzkamm .

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© 2013 Springer-Verlag London

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Lawrenz, W. et al. (2013). Physical Layer. In: Lawrenz, W. (eds) CAN System Engineering. Springer, London.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, London

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-4471-5612-3

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-4471-5613-0

  • eBook Packages: Computer ScienceComputer Science (R0)

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