AN228

M
AN228
A CAN Physical Layer Discussion
Author:
Pat Richards
Microchip Technology Inc.
INTRODUCTION
Many network protocols are described using the seven
layer Open System Interconnection (OSI) model, as
shown in Figure 1. The Controller Area Network (CAN)
protocol defines the Data Link Layer and part of the
Physical Layer in the OSI model. The remaining physical layer (and all of the higher layers) are not defined by
the CAN specification. These other layers can either be
defined by the system designer, or they can be implemented using existing non-proprietary Higher Layer
Protocols (HLPs) and physical layers.
The Data Link Layer is defined by the CAN specification. The Logical Link Control (LLC) manages the overload control and notification, message filtering and
recovery management functions. The Medium Access
Control (MAC) performs the data encapsulation/decapsulation, error detection and control, bit stuffing/destuffing and the serialization and deserialization
functions.
FIGURE 1:
The Physical Medium Attachment (PMA) and Medium
Dependent Interface (MDI) are the two parts of the
physical layer which are not defined by CAN. The
Physical Signaling (PS) portion of the physical layer is
defined by the CAN specification. The system designer
can choose any driver/receiver and transport medium
as long as the PS requirements are met.
The International Standards Organization (ISO) has
defined a standard which incorporates the CAN specification as well as the physical layer. The standard,
ISO-11898, was originally created for high-speed invehicle communications using CAN. ISO-11898 specifies the physical layer to ensure compatibility between
CAN transceivers.
A CAN controller typically implements the entire CAN
specification in hardware, as shown in Figure 1. The
PMA is not defined by CAN, however, it is defined by
ISO-11898. This document discusses the MCP2551
CAN transceiver and how it fits in with the ISO-11898
specification.
CAN AND THE OSI MODEL
7- Layer OSI
Application
Presentation
Session
Transport
Network
Data Link
Physical
Logical Link Control (LLC)
- Acceptance filtering
- Overload notification
- Recovery management
Medium Access Control (MAC)
- Data encapsulation/decapsulation
- Frame coding (stuffing/de-stuffing)
- Error detection/signaling
- Serialization/deserialization
Physical Signaling
- Bit encoding/decoding
- Bit timing/synchronization
Physical Medium Attachment
- Driver/receiver characteristics
Defined by
CAN Controller
ISO11898
Transceiver
MCP2551
Medium Dependent Interface
- Connectors/wires
 2002 Microchip Technology Inc.
Preliminary
DS00228A-page 1
AN228
ISO11898-2 OVERVIEW
FIGURE 2:
ISO11898 is the international standard for high-speed
CAN communications in road vehicles. ISO-11898-2
specifies the PMA and MDA sublayers of the Physical
Layer. See Figure 3 for a representation of a common
CAN node/bus as described by ISO-11898.
DIFFERENTIAL BUS
Dominant
Voltage Level (V)
CANH
Bus Levels
CAN specifies two logical states: recessive and dominant. ISO-11898 defines a differential voltage to represent recessive and dominant states (or bits), as shown
in Figure 2.
In the recessive state (i.e., logic ‘1’ on the MCP2551
TXD input), the differential voltage on CANH and CANL
is less than the minimum threshold (<0.5V receiver
input or <1.5V transmitter output)(See Figure 4).
Recessive
VDIFF
Recessive
CANL
Time (t)
Connectors and Wires
In the dominant state (i.e., logic ‘0’ on the MCP2551
TXD input), the differential voltage on CANH and CANL
is greater than the minimum threshold. A dominant bit
overdrives a recessive bit on the bus to achieve
nondestructive bitwise arbitration.
ISO-11898-2 does not specify the mechanical wires
and connectors. However, the specification does
require that the wires and connectors meet the electrical specification.
The specification also requires 120Ω (nominal) terminating resistors at each end of the bus. Figure 3 shows
an example of a CAN bus based on ISO-11898.
FIGURE 3:
CAN BUS
MCU
CAN Controller
Transceiver
Node
Node
120Ω
DS00228A-page 2
120Ω
Preliminary
 2002 Microchip Technology Inc.
AN228
FIGURE 4:
ISO11898 NOMINAL BUS LEVELS
V
CANH
3.5
2.5
1.5
CANL
V
V
5.0
Dominant
Differential
Output
Range
Dominant
Differential
Input
Range
3.0
1.5
0.9
0.5
Recessive
0.05
Differential
Output
-0.5
Range
-1.0
Robustness
communications of the CAN node. The transceiver
must survive short circuits on the CAN bus inputs from
-3V to +32V and transient voltages from -150V to
+100V. Table 1 shows the major ISO11898-2 electrical
requirements, as well as MCP2551 specifications.
The ISO11898-2 specification requires that a compliant
or compatible transceiver must meet a number of electrical specifications. Some of these specifications are
intended to ensure the transceiver can survive harsh
electrical
conditions,
thereby
protecting
the
TABLE 1:
Recessive
Differential
Input
Range
COMPARING THE MCP2551 TO ISO11898-2
Parameter
DC Voltage on CANH and CANL
ISO-11898-4
MCP2551
min
max
min
max
-3
+32
-40
+40
Unit
V
Comments
Exceeds ISO-11898
Transient voltage on CANH and CANL
-150
+100
-250
+250
V
Exceeds ISO-11898
Common Mode Bus Voltage
-2.0
+7.0
-12
+12
V
Exceeds ISO-11898
Recessive Output Bus Voltage
+2.0
+3.0
+2.0
+3.0
V
Meets ISO-11898
Recessive Differential Output Voltage
-500
+50
-500
+50
mV
Meets ISO-11898
Differential Internal Resistance
10
100
20
100
kΩ
Meets ISO-11898
Common Mode Input Resistance
5.0
50
5.0
50
kΩ
Meets ISO-11898
Differential Dominant Output Voltage
+1.5
+3.0
+1.5
+3.0
V
Meets ISO-11898
Dominant Output Voltage (CANH)
+2.75
+4.50
+2.75
+4.50
V
Meets ISO-11898
Dominant Output Voltage (CANL)
+0.50
+2.25
+0.50
+2.25
V
Meets ISO-11898
1.25
—
ms
Permanent Dominant Detection (Driver)
Not Required
Power-On Reset and Brown-Out Detection
Not Required
 2002 Microchip Technology Inc.
Preliminary
Yes
--
DS00228A-page 3
AN228
Bus Lengths
ISO11898 specifies that a transceiver must be able to
drive a 40m bus at 1 Mb/s. A longer bus length can be
achieved by slowing the data rate. The biggest limitation to bus length is the transceiver’s propagation
delay.
PROPAGATION DELAY
The CAN protocol has defined a recessive (logic ‘1’)
and dominant (logic ‘0’) state to implement a nondestructive bit-wise arbitration scheme. It is this arbitration methodology that is affected most by propagation
delays. Each node involved with arbitration must be
able to sample each bit level within the same bit time.
For example, if two nodes at opposite ends of the bus
start to transmit their messages at the same time, they
must arbitrate for control of the bus. This arbitration is
only effective if both nodes are able to sample during
FIGURE 5:
the same bit time. Figure 5 shows a one-way propagation delay between two nodes. Extreme propagation
delays (beyond the sample point) will result in invalid
arbitration. This implies that bus lengths are limited at
given CAN data rates.
A CAN system’s propagation delay is calculated as
being a signal’s round-trip time on the physical bus
(tbus), the output driver delay (tdrv) and the input comparator delay (tcmp). Assuming all nodes in the system
have similar component delays, the propagation delay
is explained mathematically:
EQUATION 1:
tprop = 2 ⋅ ( tbus + tcmp + tdrv )
ONE-WAY PROPAGATION DELAY
Transmitted Bit from “Node A”
SyncSeg
PropSeg
PhaseSeg1 (PS1)
PhaseSeg2 (PS2)
Sample Point
Propagation Delay
“Node A” bit received by “Node B”
SyncSeg
PropSeg
PhaseSeg1 (PS1)
PhaseSeg2 (PS2)
Time (t)
DS00228A-page 4
Preliminary
 2002 Microchip Technology Inc.
AN228
MCP2551 CAN TRANSCEIVER
General MCP2551 Operation
The MCP2551 is a CAN Transceiver that implements
the ISO-11898-2 physical layer specification. It supports a 1 Mb/s data rate and is suitable for 12 V and 24
V systems. The MCP2551 provides short-circuit
protection up to ±40V and transient protection up to
±250V.
TRANSMIT
In addition to being ISO-11898-2-compatible, the
MCP2551 provides power-on reset and brown-out protection, as well as permanent dominant detection to
ensure an unpowered or faulty node will not disturb the
bus. The device implements configurable slope control
on the bus pins to help reduce RFI emissions. Figure
6 shows the block diagram of the MCP2551.
RECEIVE
The CAN protocol controller outputs a serial data
stream to the logic TXD input of the MCP2551. The corresponding recessive or dominant state is output on the
CANH and CANL pins.
The MCP2551 receives dominant or recessive states
on the same CANH and CANL pins as the transmit
occurs. These states are output as logic levels on the
RXD pin for the CAN protocol controller to receive CAN
frames.
RECESSIVE STATE
A logic ‘1’ on the TXD input turns off the drivers to the
CANH and CANL pins and the pins “float” to a nominal
2.5V via biasing resistors.
DOMINANT STATE
A logic ‘0’ on the TXD input turns on the CANH and
CANL pin drivers. CANH drives ~1V higher than the
nominal 2.5V recessive state to ~3.5V. CANL drives
~1V less than the nominal 2.5V recessive state to
~1.5V.
FIGURE 6:
MCP2551 BLOCK DIAGRAM
VDD
TXD
Dominant
Detect
VDD
Driver
Control
TXD
RS
Slope
Control
Power-On
Reset
RXD
VREF
Thermal
Shutdown
CANH
0.5 VDD
GND
Reference
Voltage
CANL
Receiver
VSS
 2002 Microchip Technology Inc.
Preliminary
DS00228A-page 5
AN228
Modes of Operation
STANDBY
There are three modes of operation that are externally
controlled via the RS pin:
Standby (or sleep) mode is entered by connecting the
R S pin to VDD. In sleep mode, the transmitter is
switched off and the receiver operates in a reduced
power mode. While the receive pin (RXD) is still
functional, it will operate at a slower rate.
1.
2.
3.
High-Speed
Slope Control
Standby
HIGH-SPEED
The high-speed mode is selected by connecting the R S
pin to V SS. In this mode, the output drivers have fast
rise and fall times that support the higher bus rates up
to 1 Mb/s and/or maximum bus lengths by providing the
minimum transceiver loop delays.
SLOPE CONTROL
If reduced EMI is required, the MCP2551 can be placed
in slope control mode by connecting a resistor (REXT)
from the RS pin to ground. In slope control mode, the
single-ended slew rate (CANH or CANL) is basically
proportional to the current out of the RS pin. The current
must be in the range of 10 µA < -IRS < 200 µA, which
corresponds to a voltage on the pin of 0.4 VDD < VRS <
0.6 VDD respectively (or 0.5 VDD typical).
Standby mode can be used to place the device in low
power mode and to turn off the transmitter in case the
CAN controller malfunctions and sends unexpected
data to the bus.
Permanent Dominant Detection on
Transmitter
The MCP2551 will turn off the transmitter to CANH and
CANL if an extended dominant state is detected on the
transmitter. This ability prevents a faulty node (CAN
controller or MCP2551) from permanently corrupting
the CAN bus.
The drivers are disabled if TXD is low for more than
~1.25 ms (minimum) (See Figure 7).
The drivers will remain disabled as long as TXD
remains low. A rising edge on TXD will reset the timer
logic and enable the drivers.
The decreased slew rate implies a slower CAN data
rate at a given bus length, or a reduced bus length at a
given CAN data rate.
FIGURE 7:
TXD PERMANENT DOMINANT DETECTION
tDOM
Transmitter
Enabled
TXD
Transmitter
Disabled
CANH
Recessive
Dominant
Recessive
Dominant
CANL
DS00228A-page 6
Preliminary
 2002 Microchip Technology Inc.
AN228
Power-On Reset and Brown-Out
The MCP2551 incorporates both Power-On Reset
(POR) and Brown-Out Detection (BOD) (see Figure 8).
BROWN-OUT DETECTION (BOD)
POWER-ON RESET (POR)
When the MCP2551 is powered on, the CANH and
CANL pins remain in the high impedance state until
VDD reaches the POR high voltage (VPORH).
Additionally, if the TXD pin is low at power-up, the
FIGURE 8:
CANH and CANL pins will remain in high impedance
until TXD goes high. After which, the drivers will
function normally.
BOD occurs when VDD goes below the power-on reset
low voltage (VPORL). At this point, the CANH and CANL
pins enter a high impedance state and will remain there
until VPORH is reached.
POWER-ON RESET AND BROWN-OUT DETECTION
V
4.0
VPORH
VD
D
POR
3.5
VPORL
BOD
3.0
t
TXD
CANH
CANL
High
Impedance
 2002 Microchip Technology Inc.
High
Impedance
Preliminary
DS00228A-page 7
AN228
Ground Offsets
Since it is not required to provide a common ground
between nodes, it is possible to have ground offsets
between nodes. That is, each node may observe different single-ended bus voltages (common mode bus
voltages) while maintaining the same differential voltage. While the MCP2551 is specified to handle ground
offsets from -12V to +12V, the ISO-11898 specification
only requires -2V to +7V. Figure 9 and Figure 10
demonstrate how ground offsets appear between
nodes.
Figure 9 shows the transmitting node with a positive
ground offset with respect to the receiving node. The
MCP2551 receiver can operate with CANH = +12V.
The maximum CAN dominant output voltage
(VO(CANH)) from the transmitting node is 4.5V. Subtracting this maximum yields an actual ground offset (with
respect to the receiving node) of 7.5V for the transmitting node. In the recessive state, each node attempts to
pull the CANH and CANL pins to their biasing levels
FIGURE 9:
(2.5V typical). However, the resulting common mode
voltage in the recessive state becomes 6.25V for the
receiving node and -1.25V for the transmitting node.
Figure 10 shows the transmitting node with a negative
ground offset with respect to the receiving node. The
MCP2551 receiver can operate with CANL = -12V. The
minimum CAN dominant output voltage (VO(CANL))
from the transmitting node is 0.5V. Subtracting this minimum yields an actual ground offset, with respect to the
receiving node, of -12.5V. The common mode voltage
for the recessive state is -6.25V for the receiving node
and 6.25V for the transmitting node.
Since all nodes act as a transmitter for a portion of each
message (i.e., each receiver must acknowledge (ACK)
valid messages during the ACK slot), the largest
ground offset allowed between nodes is 7.5V, as shown
in Figure 9.
Operating a CAN system with large ground offsets can
lead to increased electromagnetic emissions. Steps
must be taken to eliminate ground offsets if the system
is sensitive to emissions.
RECEIVING (NODE GROUND) BELOW TRANSMITTING (NODE GROUND)
Common Mode
Bus Voltage
(Single Ended)
12
VO(CANH)(max) VDIFF(max)
4.5V
3V
Transmitting Node Ground
CANH
6
-1.25V
CANL
12V
7.5V
6.25V
0
Receiving Node Ground
DS00228A-page 8
Preliminary
 2002 Microchip Technology Inc.
AN228
FIGURE 10:
RECEIVING (NODE GROUND) ABOVE TRANSMITTING (NODE GROUND)
Common Mode
Bus Voltage
(Single-Ended)
Receiving Node Ground
0
-6.25V
12.5V
-6
-12V
CANH
CANL
6.25V
VDIFF(max)
VO(CANL)(max) 3V
0.5V
-13
Transmitting Node Ground
BUS TERMINATION
Standard Termination
Bus termination is used to minimize signal reflection on
the bus. ISO-11898 requires that the CAN bus have a
nominal characteristic line impedance of 120Ω. Therefore, the typical terminating resistor value for each end
of the bus is 120Ω. There are a few different termination
methods used to help increase EMC performance (see
Figure 11).
As the name implies, this termination uses a single
120Ω resistor at each end of the bus. This method is
acceptable in many CAN systems.
1.
2.
3.
Standard Termination
Split Termination
Biased Split Termination
Note:
EMC performance is not determined solely
by the transceiver and termination method,
but rather by careful consideration of all
components and topology of the system.
 2002 Microchip Technology Inc.
Split Termination
Split termination is a concept that is growing in popularity because emission reduction can be achieved very
easily. Split termination is a modified standard termination in which the single 120Ω resistor on each end of
the bus is split into two 60Ω resistors, with a bypass
capacitor tied between the resistors and to ground. The
two resistors should match as close as possible.
Preliminary
DS00228A-page 9
AN228
Biased Split Termination
REFERENCES
This termination method is used to maintain the common mode recessive voltage at a constant value,
thereby increasing EMC performance. This circuit is
the same as the split termination with the addition of a
voltage divider circuit to achieve a voltage of VDD/2
between the two 60 Ω resistors (see Figure 11).
MCP2551 Data Sheet, “High Speed CAN Transceiver”,
DS21667, Microchip Technology, Inc.
Note:
The biasing resistors in Figure 11, as well
as the split termination resistors, should
match as close as possible.
FIGURE 11:
TERMINATION
CONCEPTS
120 Ω
AN754, “Understanding Microchip’s CAN Module Bit
Timing”, DS00754, Microchip Technology, Inc.
ISO-11898-2, “Road Vehicles - Interchange of Digital
Information - Part 2: High Speed Medium Access Unit
and Medium Dependant Interface”, International
Organization for Standardization.
CAN System Engineering, “From Theory to Practical
Applications”, Wolfhard Lawrenz, Springer.
Standard
Termination
60 Ω
Split
Termination
C
60 Ω
R1
60 Ω
Biased
Split
Termination
C
R2
DS00228A-page 10
60 Ω
Preliminary
 2002 Microchip Technology Inc.
Note the following details of the code protection feature on Microchip devices:
•
Microchip products meet the specification contained in their particular Microchip Data Sheet.
•
Microchip believes that its family of products is one of the most secure families of its kind on the market today, when used in the
intended manner and under normal conditions.
•
There are dishonest and possibly illegal methods used to breach the code protection feature. All of these methods, to our knowledge, require using the Microchip products in a manner outside the operating specifications contained in Microchip's Data
Sheets. Most likely, the person doing so is engaged in theft of intellectual property.
•
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•
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 2002 Microchip Technology Inc.
DS00228A - page 11
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Tel: 39-039-65791-1 Fax: 39-039-6899883
United Kingdom
Microchip Ltd.
505 Eskdale Road
Winnersh Triangle
Wokingham
Berkshire, England RG41 5TU
Tel: 44 118 921 5869 Fax: 44-118 921-5820
10/18/02
DS00228A-page 12
 2002 Microchip Technology Inc.
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