Entry-level CANopen implementation by ESAcademy

San Jose, CA-The Embedded Systems Academy (ESAcademy) announced October 14 availability of MicroCANopen, an entry-level, minimized CANopen implementation. CANopen is a high level networking protocol based on the Controller Area Network.


San Jose, CA - The Embedded Systems Academy (ESAcademy) announced October 14 availability of MicroCANopen , an entry-level, minimized CANopen implementation. CANopen is a high level networking protocol based on the Controller Area Network.

MicroCANopen can be considered for applications where the design engineers are uncertain if a higher-layer CAN protocol is required at all, or if they should ''roll-their-own'' and specify a basic CAN communication system themselves. MicroCANopen is implemented as CANopen compatible, however, it does not conform 100% to CANopen specifications. The compatibility allows using standard CANopen configuration tools and provides an upgrade path should the system become more complex in the future.

''With MicroCANopen we do not only provide our students with a simplified version of CANopen that shortens the learning curve;'' said Olaf Pfeiffer, president of ESAcademy. ''The minimized resource requirements make it one of the only CANopen implementations suitable for lowest-end CAN microcontrollers.''

Depending on the MicroCANopen features enabled and the microcontroller used, the code overhead for MicroCANopen is only in the area of 3k to 4k and some 150 to 200 bytes of RAM. First implementation examples are available for the microcontrollers 8xC591and XA-C3 from Philips Semiconductors and the 80C51CC01 from Atmel. More information about MicroCANopen and how it compares to a full CANopen implementation can be found at www.microcanopen.com .

Goals for the MicroCANopen implementation included:

  • Adapt the basics by adapting the minimal set of features required to cover standard communication methods and allow use of exiting CANopen tools.

  • Minimal resource requirements. Minimal learning curve by leaving out advanced features, for instance, allowing sending and receiving messages without mapping variables from an Object Dictionary into Process Data Objects.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Gary A. Mintchell, senior editor

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