CiA specifications revised and improved

The nonprofit CAN in Automation (CiA) association revises systematically its specifications. This spring, several CANopen profile documents have been improved.

The CiA international users’ and manufacturers’ group develops and maintains specifications, recommendations, and application notes for Controller Area Network, the internationally standardized (ISO 11898) serial network. Additionally, the association has published CANopen specifications. CANopen comprises higher-layer protocols and profile specifications for different devices and applications. Recently, the profiles for motor starters (CiA 442), spreaders (CiA 444 series), RFID devices (CiA 445), and programmable power supplies (CiA 453) have been updated.

All CiA specifications are going to apply the inclusive language guidelines by international standardization bodies. Especially, the terms “master” and “slave” are substituted by appropriate terms. In CANopen, the terms “manager” “and “server” are used, e.g. NMT manager and NMT server respectively LSS manager and LSS server. This reflects the communication behavior, where the servers only communicate on request of the manager.

CiA has also released the CiA 106 technical report. It contains the CANopen connector pin-assignment recommendations from the predecessor CiA 303-1 document plus references to other pin-assignment specifications and standards. CiA 106 is a single-source reference for CAN connectors independent of the used higher-layer protocols or the application field.

In 1992, CiA released the very first CAN pin-assignment recommendation for the 9-pin Dsub connector. This was done just after two months after the nonprofit association had been established.