NI Embedded Network Products Overview (CAN, LIN, FlexRay)

Publish Date: Jan 09, 2013 | 2 Ratings | 5.00 out of 5 |  PDF

Overview

Designing, implementing, and testing the modern embedded network systems common in applications such as automotive, aerospace, and complex machines require a robust toolset to ensure successful, error-free network deployment. National Instruments offers a complete line of Controller Area Network (CAN), Local Interconnect Network (LIN), and FlexRay interfaces for developing custom applications ranging from simple low-cost diagnostic, measurement, and calibration tools to complex high-performance hardware-in-the-loop simulation systems. The NI embedded network platform is ideal for developing and deploying multiple applications where off-the-shelf tools can cost thousands more per seat.

Table of Contents

Products—Embedded Network Hardware

All NI embedded network interfaces are designed for easy custom application development. NI CAN, LIN, and FlexRay interfaces include feature-rich APIs and utilities to simplify the development of cost-effective tools in NI LabVIEW and other languages. You can use optional NI CAN toolkits to add support for industry-specific protocol layers and further reduce your development time. NI embedded network interfaces are available in three major product lines: high-performance NI-XNET CAN, LIN, and FlexRay (PCI, PXI, NI CompactDAQ, and NI CompactRIO); low-cost USB CAN and LIN; and C Series CAN (not NI-XNET) for the NI CompactRIO platform.

View Complete NI CAN Hardware and Software Compatibility Chart

High Performance: NI-XNET PCI, PXI, and C Series (In-Vehicle) CAN, LIN, and FlexRay Platform

The NI-XNET CAN, LIN, and FlexRay platform is composed of accelerated NI-XNET CAN, LIN, and FlexRay interfaces and NI-XNET driver software. With NI-XNET interfaces, you can develop applications for prototyping, simulating, and testing CAN, LIN, and FlexRay networks faster and more easily in LabVIEW, NI LabWindows™/CVI, and C/C++. Designed for performance and ease of use in applications such as hardware-in-the-loop simulation, these interfaces excel in high-signal-count, low-latency applications in Windows and LabVIEW Real-Time OSs using NI device-driven DMA engine technology.

 

NI-XNET Interface PCI PXI  C Series
NI-XNET FlexRay, 2-port PCI-8517/2 PXI-8517/2  
NI-XNET CAN, low-speed/fault-tolerant, 1-port PCI-8511 PXI-8511 NI 9861
NI-XNET CAN, low-speed/fault-tolerant, 2-port PCI-8511/2 PXI-8511/2  
NI-XNET CAN, high-speed, 1-port PCI-8512 PXI-8512 NI 9862
NI-XNET CAN, high-speed, 2-port PCI-8512/2 PXI-8512/2  
NI-XNET CAN, software-selectable, 1-port PCI-8513 PXI-8513  
NI-XNET CAN, software-selectable, 2-port PCI-8513/2 PXI-8513/2  
NI-XNET LIN, 2-port PCI-8516/2 PXI-8516/2  
NI-XNET LIN, 1-port     NI 9866

Learn More About NI-XNET CAN, LIN, and FlexRay Interfaces

Low Cost and Portable: USB CAN and LIN

NI USB-847x interfaces are ideal for portable and low-cost CAN and LIN monitoring, logging, and testing applications. With high-speed CAN, low-speed/fault-tolerant CAN, and LIN interfaces featuring optional hardware synchronization, you can use two or more USB-874x modules together to interface to a wide variety of CAN and LIN networks.

USB-847x interfaces are ideal for a wide variety of applications, including in-vehicle network monitoring and logging, bus load monitoring, device validation with synchronized data acquisition, CAN device development and test, and CAN and LIN data correlation with external measurements. 

Interface Type Without Synchronization With Synchronization
USB CAN high-speed USB-8473 USB-8473s
USB CAN low-speed/fault-tolerant USB-8472 USB-8472s
USB LIN USB-8476 USB-8476s

Learn More About NI USB CAN Interfaces

Learn More About NI USB LIN Interfaces

Embedded and In-Vehicle: CompactRIO CAN Modules

CompactRIO embedded prototyping and data-logging systems with 2-port high-speed and low-speed/fault-tolerant NI 985x CAN modules support CAN communication. CompactRIO modules connect directly to NI reconfigurable I/O (RIO) field-programmable gate array (FPGA) devices to create high-performance embedded systems that deliver the optimization and flexibility of a custom electrical circuit completely dedicated to your input/output application. NI RIO FPGA hardware provides unlimited options for timing, triggering, synchronization, and sensor-level signal processing and decision making.

Interface Type Model
CompactRIO CAN, high-speed NI 9853
CompactRIO CAN, low-speed/fault-tolerant NI 9852

Learn More About Using CompactRIO CAN Modules

Explore Best Practices for CompactRIO Development

Products—Software

NI CAN products work with a variety of APIs for development environments such as LabVIEW, LabWindows/CVI, and C/C++.  

View Complete NI CAN Hardware and Software Compatibility Chart

Drivers/APIs

NI-XNET API

Supported Interfaces: NI-XNET CAN, LIN, and FlexRay

The NI-XNET API, the latest universal embedded network programming API, works with NI-XNET interfaces for CAN, LIN, and FlexRay. It is recommended for any new CAN application using an NI-XNET interface and contains the functionality found in both the older NI-CAN Channel and Frame APIs. The NI-XNET driver also contains an NI-CAN Compatibility layer to run applications written using the NI-CAN Channel and Frame APIs for PCI and PXI form factors.

Learn More About NI-XNET CAN, LIN, and FlexRay Interfaces

NI-CAN Channel API

Supported Interfaces: NI Series 2 CAN (PCI, PXI, PCMCIA), NI-XNET CAN (PCI and PXI with Compatibility Library)

The NI-CAN Channel API provides high-level, easy-to-use functions for access to CAN channels defined in Vector database (.dbc) or National Instruments CAN database (.ncd) files. The Channel API is recommended for CAN beginners.  

Learn More About the NI-CAN Channel API

NI-CAN Frame API

Supported Interfaces: NI Series 2 CAN (PCI, PXI, PCMCIA), NI USB CAN, NI-XNET CAN (PCI and PXI with Compatibility Library)

The NI-CAN Frame API provides low-level access to the bytes and bits transmitted over the CAN bus and is recommended for advanced users. The NI-CAN Frame API is the primary API for NI USB CAN devices.  

Learn More About the NI-CAN Frame API

CompactRIO CAN FPGA Interface

Supported Interfaces: NI 985x CompactRIO CAN modules (with LabVIEW FPGA Module) 

CompactRIO CAN modules are programmed directly from a LabVIEW FPGA target, enabling custom hardware processing of CAN messages before manipulating them in software. In addition, CompactRIO CAN modules commonly use the CAN Frame to Channel Conversion Library to manipulate frames from the LabVIEW Real-Time host. 

Learn More About Using CompactRIO CAN Modules

Embedded Network Toolkits

You can use NI embedded network toolkits to add more protocols and industry-specific features to NI CAN interfaces. 

ECU Measurement and Calibration Toolkit (CAN, Ethernet) 

Supported Interfaces: NI-XNET CAN, NI Series 2 CAN, USB CAN
Supported OSs: Windows, LabVIEW Real-Time (Phar Lap)

The NI ECU Measurement and Calibration Toolkit adds support for protocols common in ECU preproduction applications:

  • Universal Measurement and Calibration Protocol (XCP)
  • CAN Calibration Protocol (CCP)
  • ASAM (.A2L) database file support

Learn More About the ECU Measurement and Calibration Toolkit

Automotive Diagnostic Command Set (CAN) 

Supported Interfaces: NI-XNET CAN, NI Series 2 CAN, USB CAN
Supported OSs: Windows, LabVIEW Real-Time (Phar Lap)

The NI Automotive Diagnostic Command Set adds support for protocols common in automotive diagnostic applications:

  • Keyword Protocol 2000 on CAN (KWP2000, ISO 14230)
  • Diagnostics On CAN/Universal Diagnostic Services (ISO 15765)
  • Onboard Diagnostics (OBD-II) on CAN
  • ISO Transport Protocol (ISO 15765-2)
  • Volkswagen Transport Protocol

Learn More About the Automotive Diagnostic Command Set

CANopen LabVIEW Library

Supported Interfaces: NI Series 2 CAN
Supported OSs: Windows, LabVIEW Real-Time (Phar Lap)

The NI CANopen LabVIEW Library is a set of LabVIEW functions that allow NI CAN interfaces to act as a CANopen master in industrial communication applications.

Learn More About the CANopen LabVIEW Library

Free Libraries

Frame to Channel Conversion Library

Supported Interfaces: NI Series 2 CAN, USB CAN, CompactRIO CAN

The NI CAN Frame to Channel Conversion Library is a collection of VIs for fast conversion of CAN frames to scaled channel information. You can use the VIs on Windows Vista/XP/2000, Phar Lap ETS, and VxWorks. Because of this, CompactRIO or USB CAN users can take advantage of a database file (.ncd or .dbc) to easily and efficiently convert binary frames to readable channels. 

Download the Frame to Channel Conversion Library

LDF Starter Kit

The NI LIN Definition File (LDF) Starter Kit is a toolkit that provides the functionality to read information from an LDF and pass this information to a LabVIEW application.

Download the LDF Starter Kit

Learn More

Complete NI CAN Hardware and Software Compatibility Chart
Introduction to CAN
Introduction to FlexRay
Introduction to LIN

Getting Started With the NI-XNET API for LabVIEW

The mark LabWindows is used under a license from Microsoft Corporation. Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries.

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