controller area networkAbbreviated CAN, a serial bus network of microcontrollers that connects devices, sensors and actuators in a system or sub-system for real-time control applications. There is no addressing scheme used in controller area networks, as in the sense of conventional addressing in networks (such as Ethernet). Rather, messages are broadcast to all the nodes in the network using an identifier unique to the network. Based on the identifier, the individual nodes decide whether or not to process the message and also determine the priority of the message in terms of competition for bus access. This method allows for uninterrupted transmission when a collision is detected, unlike Ethernets that will stop transmission upon collision detection.
Controller area networks were first developed for use in automobiles. Equipped with an array of sensors, the network is able to monitor the systems that the automobile depends on to run properly and safely. Beyond automobiles, controller area networks can be used as an embedded communication system for microcontrollers as well as an open communication system for intelligent devices.
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free weekly newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
Webopedia's student apps roundup will help you to better organize your class schedule and stay on top of assignments and homework. Read More »20 Ways to Shorten a URL
If you need to shorten a long URL try this list of 20 free online redirection services. Read More »Top 10 Tech Terms of 2015
The most popular Webopedia definitions of 2015. Read More »
This Webopedia study guide describes the different parts of a computer system and their relations. Read More »Network Fundamentals Study Guide
Networking fundamentals teaches the building blocks of modern network design. Learn different types of networks, concepts, architecture and... Read More »The Five Generations of Computers
Learn about each of the five generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the current devices that we use today. Read More »