CAN Terminology

Back to Top
  • CAN Terminology changes

    CAN has undergone many updates since it was launched in 1986. As a result, CAN in Automation (CiA), the international users’ and manufacturers’ group, has introduced new terms to describe the different CAN protocols now available:

    • CANclassic (abbreviated to CAN CC)
    • CANflexible data rate (abbreviated to CAN FD)
    • CANextended data-field length (abbreviated to CAN XL)

    CiA also specifies and maintains two application protocols that run on CAN:

    • CANopen (application running on CANCC)
    • CANopen FD (application running on CANFD)


    Throughout the Kvaser website, when the term CAN is used, we refer to CAN classic. Similarly, when CANopen is mentioned, we refer to CANopen Classic.