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CANopen and J1939 co-processors, free eval kits at int. CAN Conference March 5th/6th

February 9th, 2012 No comments

On March 5th, ESAcademy will conduct the following classes at the iCC together with NXP Semiconductors:

08:30 to 09:30 Everything CAN and NXP CAN Controller Intro
A 30 year old technology, here to stay for another 30 years

An overview of the almost 30 year old CAN technology, where it came from and where it goes. CAN is used in many new electronic designs, also thanks to continuous advancements in CAN controller technology. Comparison of various CAN controller technologies.

09:45 to 10:30 CANopen Essence
New to CANopen? Learn the key features in just 45 Minutes

With its 4000+ pages the CANopen drafts and standards are overwhelming to newcomers. Join this class to get an overview of the common technical key features that make CANopen work.

11:30 to 13:00  Introduction to NXP CAN microcontrollers and Co-Processors
CAN controllers, CANopen Co-Processor, J1939 Co-Processor

Specialties of NXP CAN controllers and how an LPC11C24 can be used as a communication Co-Processor. Using the LPC11C24 with integrated CAN transceivers to implement a Co-Processor to implement and handle a higher-layer protocol, offloading this task from a host processor system. The host system communicates with the gateway via
UART, I2C or SPI.

Participants may qualify for a free NXP Evaluation Kit (must be present to qualify, 50 kits available).

For more information about the international CAN conference visit: www.can-cia.org

Categories: CAN, CANopen Tags: ,

Car add-on networking CiA447 goes V2.0

July 19th, 2011 No comments

The CAN in Automation documents known as CiA447 describe how CANopen is used in automotive “add-on electronics” applications. These are electronics not added by the car manufacturer, but at a later point. Most common usage is for electronics used in taxis, emergency response vehicles and police cars.

Recently CiA447’s functionality was enhanced and especially the new power-down and wake-up procedures required a version step upwards, as they are not backward compatible.

Today, Daimler is the only manufacturer already offering cars with CiA447 interface. However, several other car manufacturers have already shown prototypes.

One of the biggest benefits of CiA447 is, that it offers add-on electronics access to some of the cars displays and buttons. In modern cars, there is typically no physical room to add electronics near the dashboard, as all space is used up. CiA447 allows “sharing” some of the cars displays and buttons, so that the electronic components themselves do not need to be mounted near the dashboard.

We at ESAcademy have now updated all our CANopen products for CiA447 to implement the latest V2.0 enhancements and changes. This includes our Micro CANopen source code solutions, our CANopen Magic line of analyzers and our CiA447 gateway simulator. Contact us, if you need to bring CiA447 to your electronics.

Categories: CANopen Tags:

CAN bit rates beyond 1MBps

May 16th, 2011 No comments

For many years the maximum bit rate of CAN (Controller Area Network) has been 1Mbps. Not only was it a maximum for the bit rate, it also resulted in a “touchy” physical layout: cable length restrictions were as low as 30m.

The limits of speed vs. cable length comes from the requirement, that in CAN a bit needs to be stable on the entire bus, before the next bit may start. Some bits can be over-written, a feature which is used for arbitration, acknowledgments and error handling.

Bosch, the inventor of CAN, now introduced a white paper “CAN with Flexible Data-Rate” showing how a higher data rate can be achieved. The main suggested feature here is to allow switching between a low (backward compatible) bit rate and a much higher bit rate within a single message.

In short, a single CAN message consist of control data at the beginning and the end of a message with the data field “in the middle”. The core idea is to use the lower bit rate for the control data and the higher bit rate for the data field only. In addition the maximum data field size is increased from previously 8 bytes to now 64 bytes.

If the higher bit rate is 8 times higher than that of the base rate it would be possible to achieve an 8 times higher data-throughput WITHOUT changing the real-time behavior.

For more info, see the white paper at:
www.semiconductors.bosch.de/media/pdf/canliteratur/can_fd.pdf

Categories: CAN Tags: ,

NXP introduces dual-core ARM Microcontroller

November 3rd, 2010 No comments

The new LPC4000 family of microcontrollers from NXP Semiconductors combines two powerful ARM Cortex cores in one microcontroller. The integrated Cortex-M4 and Cortex-M0 can run asymmetrically at up to 150MHz and have access to internal memory of up to 1MB Flash and 264k of RAM.
A multilayer bus matrix with 4 separate RAM blocks ensures that both microcontrollers have independent, fast access to “their” memory, minimizing wait-states.
Next to the “usual” LPCxxx peripherals the new devices also feature high-speed USB and an AES decryption engine for security.
There are several applications that benefit from a dual core solution. If a lot of communication is required, like handling complex communication protocols with specific timing requirements, a dual-core solutions allows using one core as a communication co-processor, clearly separating communication and process handling.
For more information, see NXP’s web pages.

MicroCANopen Plus 5.50 Available

October 2nd, 2010 Comments off

MicroCANopen Plus and MicroCANopen Plus Add-in Manager have been updated. The highlights in the new version of the embedded CANopen stack are:

  • More clarity and easier maintenance in user-configurable files by dividing call back functions into multiple files
  • More flexibility by adding many more data call backs for SDO accesses
  • Framework support to guard Object Dictionary entries with auto-generated minimum and maximum values from EDS/DCF file

Customers with ongoing maintenance agreement with us are entitled to a free upgrade. In this case, please download the new version from

CANopenStore.com/support.php

using the activation code(s). For those projects using auto-generated code, also update CANopen Architect EDS to the latest version.

The process to update embedded firmware libraries that become part of a bigger project can be complicated. For that reason, we have developed tools and to ease this on-time task.

Contact us if you are interested in obtaining or need assistance in performing the update.

CiA 447 Car Add-on Devices Gateway Simulation Software Available

July 21st, 2010 No comments

The number of product developments supporting the automotive standard for ‘add-on devices’ CiA447 is on the rise.

The standard supports electronic devices used in taxis, emergency response vehicles and other governmental service vehicles. Typical components include roof bars (light & sound), radios, control units, taximeters, printers and similar devices.

Using a CiA447 gateway, automotive manufacturers like Daimler already provide access to the vehicles internal data today. The standard allows sharing some of the car’s resources like switches and displays with CiA447 devices. A steering wheel button can be used as the PTT (push to talk) button for a radio, which in return can use the car’s display to show channel numbers, volume settings or such. Read more…

Categories: CANopen Tags: ,

MSP430 LaunchPad from Texas Instruments

July 21st, 2010 No comments

Texas Instruments have released a lost cost evaluation board for their MSP430 microcontroller family and Value Line series. Utilizing free code-limited compilers, the board with cables costs $4.30 direct from Texas Instruments, with free shipping. This represents a very low-cost way to get started with this microcontroller family.

Visit the Texas Instruments site MSP430 LaunchPad (MSP-EXP430G2) to learn more.

Categories: Microcontrollers Tags:

.NET Support for Flash Magic

May 12th, 2010 No comments

We have released a new product called “Flash Magic Production System NET” which contains support for writing Flash Magic based applications in .NET languages.

Included are .NET assemblies for each of the driver DLLs used by Flash Magic. The API has been designed to take advantage of .NET features such as exceptions while maintaining familiarity for those already working with the existing C-based API.

The users of these new .NET assemblies allow developers to quick start working with Flash Magic technologies using the .NET language of their choice.

View a comparison table (scroll down) showing the differences between the new product and the existing Flash Magic Production System.

Categories: Flash Magic Tags:

From Embedded World: trend towards 32bit and ARM continues

March 5th, 2010 No comments

I was visiting Embedded World this week and in regards to microcontrollers the trend towards 32bit continues. When it comes to marketing presence at a trade show, obviously less than 32bit where not “it” this year. Not only chip manufacturers, but also most of the development tools primarily focused on 32bit solutions. And the next impression one gets walking the aisles: ARM processors are the first choice in this arena, with a focus on the Cortex-M generation. At this year’s Embedded World, no other microcontroller architecture had a marketing presence anywhere near that of ARM. Read more…

From Embedded World: most “fun” evaluation board

March 5th, 2010 No comments

Whenever a new microcontroller generation comes out, developers and engineers look out for evaluation boards. In order to be able to test the microcontroller, it needs to be mounted on a PCB that has the required glue logic, power circuitry and connectors. For generations, these test boards were mostly “bare-naked” – without housing and only featuring components needed to test the microcontroller in certain types of applications. Over the last years more “attractive” variations of such boards have come to market, for example some looking like a custom USB stick.

Last year, Raisonance released products following a slightly different concept they named Primers, and the Primer2 won an EETimes product of the year 2009 award. These boards feature a complete housing, making them more attractive for various prototype developments. Through staging several design contests, many applications have been implemented and are now shared on the product’s web page. Applications include an alcohol meter, a CAN monitor, a GPS displaying OpenStreetMap data, various games and many more. Read more…