Why CAN FD when you CAN XL?


The world of automotive and industrial communication systems has evolved significantly over the years. Controller Area Network (CAN) technology, which has been a staple in these applications, has seen the emergence of CAN FD (Flexible Data Rate) to meet the growing demands for higher bandwidth and improved performance. Now, we’re on the cusp of another major advancement with CAN XL (eXtra Large), and it’s creating a buzz in the industry for its potential to seamlessly replace CAN FD while offering even greater benefits. In this technical blog, we will explore how CAN XL IP can be integrated into existing CAN FD applications by simply swapping the PHY (Physical Layer) chip in the future.

The Evolution of CAN Technology
To understand the transition from CAN FD to CAN XL, let’s briefly recap the evolution of CAN technology:

Classical CAN: The original CAN protocol with a maximum data rate of 1 Mbps and a payload size of up to 8 bytes. It has been widely used in automotive and industrial applications for decades.

CAN FD: CAN FD introduced the concept of flexible data rates, allowing for data rates of up to 8 Mbps and increased payload sizes, up to 64 bytes. This addressed the need for higher bandwidth and performance.

CAN XL: CAN XL represents the latest step in this evolution, offering data rates of up to 10 Mbps, increased payload sizes of up to 2048 bytes, and enhanced features like dual CRC modules for improved data integrity and optional security features.

arasan can xl

Swapping PHY from FD to XL
One of the key advantages of CAN XL is its backward compatibility with CAN FD, which means you can integrate CAN XL IP into your existing CAN FD applications without major overhauls. The magic happens when you decide to migrate to CAN XL in the future. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. CAN XL IP Integration:
    When initially implementing CAN FD, ensure that the hardware design allows for the straightforward replacement of the PHY chip. By utilizing the CAN XL IP and ensuring compatibility, you’re preparing for a seamless transition.
  2. Future-Proofing with a PHY Swap:
    When the need arises to upgrade to CAN XL, you don’t have to redesign your entire system. Instead, you can swap out the existing CAN FD PHY chip with a CAN XL PHY chip. This simple switch enables your system to harness the advantages of CAN XL.
  3. Advantages of CAN XL:
    By making this transition, you unlock the full potential of CAN XL, which includes:

Higher Data Rates: CAN XL supports data rates of up to 10 Mbps, providing even more bandwidth for your applications.

Larger Payload Sizes: The increased payload capacity of up to 2048 bytes allows you to transmit more data in a single frame, making it ideal for applications that require high-resolution sensor data.

Enhanced Data Integrity: Dual CRC modules in CAN XL ensure better data integrity, crucial for critical applications.

Optional Security Features: CAN XL introduces security features like encryption and digital signatures, which can be invaluable in applications where data security is a top priority.

Gate count: CAN XL offers higher performance and greater compatibility at just 10% higher Gate Count than CAN FD.

In today’s fast-paced technological landscape, it’s essential to future-proof your designs. CAN XL IP offers a practical solution for those using CAN FD by providing a clear path for transitioning to advanced features and capabilities when needed. By merely swapping the PHY chip, your existing applications can benefit from higher data rates, larger payload sizes, and improved data integrity, making CAN XL a promising choice for the future of automotive and industrial communication systems. Embrace the evolution, and stay ahead in the world of CAN technology.