The controller area network (CAN bus) in a vehicle is the internal communication control centre that relays information between the vehicles various electronic control units (ECUs). Each ECU needs a central processing unit (CPU), CAN transceiver and CAN controller to allow it to pass data to and from the CAN bus.
What do CAN transceivers do? The CAN transceiver connects the CAN controller to the CAN bus. Its main job is to translate the data from the bus so that the controller can read it, and vice versa. By ensuring the efficient running of the communication system, they help minimise the amount of current used.
Types of CAN transceivers The main distinction between different types of CAN transceivers is their speed:
Low-speed CAN transceivers allow data rates up to 125 kilobits per second
High-speed CAN transceivers allow for data rates of up to 1 megabit per second
The advantage of low-speed CAN transceivers is that they can tolerate a fault in one of the communication lines without the whole communication system failing.