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What is a CAN FD SIC Transceiver?

Last updated: 2020-04-02
Question:

What is a CAN FD SIC Transceiver?

Answer:

SIC is the abbreviation for Signal Improvement Capability. A SIC transceiver allows to build more complex network topologies at higher communication bit rates. With current high-speed CAN transceivers 2 MBit/s can be achieved with a linear network topology. 5 MBit/s can be reached with a point-to-point communication. With a SIC transceiver 5 MBit/s can be achieved with networks that use stars and long stub lines (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Complex CAN network topology with star-points and long stubs

A SIC transceiver reduces the ringing caused by reflections in a network. Therefore, the sampling of bits gets more robust. In the scope measurements below it can be seen how the signal quality is influenced by a SIC transceiver. The measurement was created with the network shown in Figure 1 and Vector’s VN1640A CAN/CAN FD interfaces using a common CAN high speed transceiver (Figure 2) and a CAN SIC transceiver prototype (Figure 3). The network topology was chosen to demonstrate the ringing effects. However, similar topologies can be found in cars.


Figure 2: Signal with ringing


Figure 3: Signal with suppressed ringing due to SIC transceiver

SIC transceivers are specified in CiA 601-4. The CiA 601-4 document is provided by CAN in Automation (https://www.can-cia.org/groups/specifications).

SIC transceivers will soon be available from several manufacturers. Vector plans to provide a Piggyback based on a SIC Transceiver for its CAN network interfaces.

 
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2020-04-02
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