RSS Feed

Embedded Systems Blog

Two-year project for security of CANopen and other small-packet networks

December 18th, 2023 Comments off

Together with the Institute of Reliable Embedded Systems and Communication Electronics (ivESK, Prof. Sikora of Offenburg University), the Embedded Systems Academy has been awarded a research grant for a collaborative project focusing on embedded network security. The project is dedicated to developing a security framework for small-packet networks, with a specific emphasis on CAN and CANopen systems.

The initiative, internally referred to as “Inter-Layer Multi-Participant Security for Small-Packet Networks,” can be integrated within existing network layer protocols and offers multi-party security. It is adaptable to various small-packet network protocols used in embedded systems. Beyond CAN, CAN FD, CANopen and CANopen FD, it can also be used for I2C or RS-485 based systems. The project aims to combine established security mechanisms in a novel way and adapt them suitable for deeply embedded systems, devices and networks, where resources, such as memory, computing power, data rates and frame length are very much constraint.

The project’s goal is to ensure that the results are openly available and can be reused by the Special Interest Group “Safety/Security” within CiA (CAN in Automation).

We plan to regularly publish updates on our project’s progress. A first presentation is scheduled for the embedded world Conference in Nuremberg: On April 9th, 2024, we will present the paper “Collaborative Design of Security Measures for CAN and CANopen Systems” in the connectivity track, session 2.2 on CAN. If you are interested in contributing to the specification process or in beta-testing early implementations, please feel free to contact us (contact form on this web page or mail to info@esacademy.de).

This Project is supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) on the basis of a decision by the German Bundestag.

Micro CANopen and Micro CANopen as Open-CMSIS-Pack for NXP Arm microcontrollers

August 8th, 2023 Comments off

Embedded Systems Academy (EmSA), a leading provider of embedded software solutions for CAN
based industrial networks, is pleased to announce the release of its Micro CANopen libraries as
Open-CMSIS-Pack following the Common Microcontroller Software Interface Standard (CMSIS) by
Arm. This new integration enables developers to easily implement CANopen communication
protocols in their embedded systems.

Until now, these Micro CANopen libraries were already available as part of selected NXP
MCUXpresso Software Development Kits (SDKs). Along with NXP’s recent release of support for MS
Visual Studio Code, SDKs and third-party libraries are moving to Open-CMSIS-Packs, ensuring
compatibility with a wider range of development tools and microcontrollers. For more information on NXP’s step towards VS Code and Open-CMSIS-Packs, follow this link.

The Micro CANopen libraries from EmSA offer a minimalistic implementation of the CANopen and
CANopen FD communication protocols for I/O devices and basic managers/controllers. They are
designed to simplify the development process by providing a compact and efficient solution, saving
valuable time and resources for embedded system developers. Through the Open-CMSIS-Pack
format, developers can leverage the libraries seamlessly, further enhancing the efficiency and
reliability of their CANopen-enabled applications.

The published Micro CANopen libraries may be used at no license charge and are adequate to
implement basic I/O devices with a limited number of parameters or a controller with a limited
number of nodes to handle.

“We are excited to bring our Micro CANopen libraries to the Open-CMSIS-Pack ecosystem,” said Olaf
Pfeiffer, CEO of Embedded Systems Academy. “By making our libraries available as Open-CMSIS-
Packs, we aim to empower developers to effortlessly integrate CANopen or CANopen FD support
into their embedded projects.”

Developers can use any tool that supports Open-CMSIS-Packs to access these CANopen libraries such
as NXP MCUXpresso, Visual Studio Code, Arm Keil MDK and IAR Embedded Workbench. The libraries
are compatible with the latest Arm CMSIS releases and initial support covers several popular NXP
LPC and i.MX microcontroller derivatives.

Example of the access to the Micro CANopen libraries, here using Arm/Keil’s Pack Installer

The current beta release features the Micro CANopen release for selected NXP microcontrollers. Future releases will support NXP’s auto-configuration and more derivatives with CAN or CAN FD interfaces.

The current list of available releases is availabe at: www.keil.arm.com/vendors/emsa/packs

2022 review: another challenging year with a focus on supply chain management

January 3rd, 2023 Comments off

Another year has passed that proved to be challenging for everyone in the position of buying semiconductor components or products based on them. Many of our customers and partners have their own stories to share about “creative solutions” to dealing with supply chain issues. Here is an example from one of our customers:

He approached us over a broken CANopen joystick – used in a very expensive machinery – and the machine could no longer be used. The joystick supplier was not able to deliver the joystick, but he could deliver a generic version without the CANopen interface, using digital and analog outputs instead. The question was, how fast could we modify the firmware of our CANopen generic I/O module so that it could be used with the generic joystick and then integrated into the machine.

Custom firmware requests are quite common, however usually combined with some volume purchase of the modules involved. Here, the required quantity was ‘one’.

Luckily the required changes were minimal and most settings could be made via the CANopen configuration (Node ID and bitrate settings, PDO communication and mapping settings). Within a few consulting hours, we were able to deliver a prototype based on our CANopenIA-M0 starter kit. After just one more minor re-configuration the system worked again. The starter kit was embedded in an industrial rugged housing and mounted into the machine near the operator – and it was back to work.

The CANopenIA-M0 starter kit used as a CANopen joystick interface

To ensure continuous availability of the CANopenIA modules we, like so many others in the industry, were forced to do a re-design – not necessarily to add new functionality, but just to have multiple sourcing options for the modules.

The new CANopenIA pin-compatible system on modules

As a result, within 2023 we expect that our proven and popular CANopenIA-M0 system- on-module will be available in a total of three hardware versions. The two new modules will offer 100% pin-by-pin backward compatibility. In addition, the latest version will not only support classical CANopen but also CANopen FD and provide direct access to faster and higher resolution analog inputs.

We wish our clients and partners a quiet and relaxing transition to 2023 and may the supply chain issues be less challenging this year.

Andy, Chris and Olaf

Instant Access to CANopen with CANopen IA modules

October 11th, 2021 Comments off

Earlier this year, EmSA inherited the CANopen IA product line from ESSolutions. The product line goes back about 20 years and at the time the products were based on the Philip’s XA architecture. The current products are using the NXP LPC11Cxx microcontrollers (ARM Cortex M0). Right from the beginning, EmSA provided the firmware and support software for these products making EmSA a natural candidate to continue this product line after ESSolutions discontinued their operation.

The base product is a small (31.5 x 20mm) 48pin module offering 7 configurable ports with 4 connectors each. Depending on the port number, a port can be configured to be:

  • Digital input or output (4 signals)
  • Remote access (serial UART, TTL)
  • Internal analog input (4 times 8 or 10bit resolution)
  • External analog input (4 times 12bit, I2C connected external)
  • External analog output (4 times 12bit, I2C connected external)
New CANopen IA M0 Starter Kit

At EmSA, we now continuously enhance the features of this product line. The latest firmware release V2.2 added remote access support to a host system via a serial TTL channel. This allows the module to be used as a CANopen communication processor in systems that can use a regular serial channel to communicate with the communication processor. A further enhancement added 8bit resolution access to the analog inputs (default use is 10bit resolution) now supporting a variety of CANopen joystick implementations.

An easy entry starter kit is now available, offering basic access to the functionality provided by the CANopen IA M0 module. All 48 pins of the module are made available on standard header rows, all marked with the matching pin names. For quick tests, switches and LEDs can be connected to any of those pins using jumper cables provided.

A CANopen FD version of the module is currently under development and scheduled for release early 2022.

For more information, see:
www.canopenia.com
www.canopenstore.eu

Open Meetings and Papers at the international CAN Conference

May 31st, 2021 Comments off

The 17th international CAN Conference is an online event about the Controller Area Network happening from June 14th to June 17th, 2021. Papers presented cover topics such as updates on the physical and data link layer for CAN FD and XL, CANopen testing, CANopen FD and Security.

The tutors of EmSA participate in presenting two papers: “A simplified classic CANopen to CANopen FD migration path using smart bridges” and “Achieving multi-level CAN (FD) security by complementing available technologies”.

PCAN-Router-FD
Smart Bridges based on PCAN-Router FD

The paper about smart bridges introduces a solution to easily combine classical CANopen devices with CANopen FD devices. The bridges developed here offer one classical CANopen and one CANopen FD port and “auto-translate” CANopen and CANopen FD messages transparently. As an example, SDO transfers on the classical CANopen side are automatically translated to USDO transfers on the CANopen FD side.

The paper about security reviews currently available security solutions for CAN (FD) and examines how they complement each other. The security methods combine here are CAN message ID guarding, a CAN crypto layer and (D)TLS.

For the first time, the iCC combines papers with open CiA IG and SiG (Interest Group and Special interest Group) meetings. Here “open” means that after registration anyone can participate to see how the different work groups operate. Our engineers will participate in the SIG special car add-on devices (CiA 447) and the IG CANopen FD.

For more details and registration, see www.can-cia.org/icc

Categories: CAN, CANopen, Security Tags: , , ,

Industrial CANopen (FD) I/O by PEAK

August 26th, 2020 Comments off

A few months back, EmSA’s CANopen and CANopen FD libraries and protocol stacks were integrated into NXP’s MCUXpresso SDK supporting multiple NXP microcontroller families, inlcuding the LPC54xxx family. That MCU family was chosen by PEAK Systemtechnik for a number of industrial input and output devices.

The newly released PCAN-MicroMod FD DR CANopen Digital 1 is the first of their industrial I/O device integrating both CANopen and CANopen FD within the same firmware. All essential settings of the DIN-Rail mountable device are made with turn dials: selection of CANopen or CANopen FD modes, bitrates and node id used.

Typical use cases include future proofing CANopen systems by already choosing CANopen FD capable devices and quickly adding generic I/O devices(s) to custom, embedded CANopen FD networks.

The device passed the official CiA CANopen conformance test. The CANopen FD test is pending.

For more information, see the PEAK product page.

Upcoming NXP / EmSA / CANopen (FD) Webinar and Videos

April 16th, 2020 Comments off

NXP and EmSA are inviting you to the one hour seminar “Accelerate Development of Robust Network Communications with CANopen and CANopen FD” on Tuesday April 21st 2020. This webinar is a hands-on session about customized CANopen (FD) development on NXP MCUs.

In the hands-on part, we take the CANopen (FD) device/slave example included with the NXP MCUXpresso SDK and use the free CANopen Architect Mini software utility to modify and configure the CANopen (FD) communication of the device. Code modifications are made using the MCUXpresso SDK to support the custom generated CANopen (FD) object dictionary entries. Click here to register for this webinar.

The webinar requires some basic CANopen (FD) and MCUXpresso knowledge. See our courses at www.em-sa.com/video to learn the basics about these technologies.

Press Release: Free Micro CANopen Libraries for NXP Microcontrollers

February 24th, 2020 Comments off

February 24, 2020 – Embedded Systems Academy (EmSA) and NXP® Semiconductors announce the integration of the free-to-use EmSA Micro CANopen libraries into the NXP MCUXpresso Software Development Kit (SDK) for developing with NXP’s microcontrollers (MCU) and crossovers based on Arm® Cortex®-M.

For years, many MCUs have been equipped with the Controller Area Network (CAN) interfaces including CAN FD. These interfaces are optimized for embedded communication and make it easy to transmit and receive single messages.

“To take full advantage of the capabilities of such interfaces, middleware communication protocols are required,” says Olaf Pfeiffer, General Manager of EmSA. “One of the most
popular protocols for embedded CAN applications is CANopen, for which EmSA has delivered its Micro CANopen software for more than 20 years, and remains highly used among embedded developers.”

Free-to-use versions of EmSA’s Micro CANopen library are now fully integrated into the MCUXpresso SDK for a selection of NXP LPC MCUs and i.MX RT crossover MCUs.

“This integration further simplifies the process of prototyping and integrating sophisticated and reliable communication into embedded systems.” said Brendon Slade, director of MCU ecosystem for Edge Processing at NXP Semiconductors. “For most systems, the libraries can be used in production without further licensing.”

One of the first adopters is PEAK-System Technik: Their industrial I/O module PCAN-MicroMod FD is based on NXP’s LPC54000 MCU series and uses a variation o

f EmSA’s Micro CANopen libraries. “Using a proven CANopen (FD) protocol implementation for our I/O devices greatly reduced our development time and opens up additional use-cases for our customers.”, says Uwe Wilhelm, General Manager of PEAK-System Technik.

For more information about the NXP microcontrollers currently supported by EmSA’s free to use CANopen libraries and video tutorials, visit www.em-sa.com/nxp

About MCUXpresso SDK
Available in downloads based on user selections of MCU, evaluation board and optional software components, the MCUXpresso SDK merges customization and quality in a suite of production-grade runtime software. Complete with pre-integrated RTOS middleware, stacks and middleware, reference software, and MISRA-compliant drivers analyzed with Coverity® static analysis tools, it’s the ultimate software framework and reference solution for application development with NXP MCUs and crossover MCUs based on ARM® Cortex®-M cores.

About Embedded Systems Academy
Embedded Systems Academy (EmSA) is an NXP gold partner and has locations in Barsinghausen, Germany and San Jose, California. EmSA provides tools, training and services for planning, implementing, debugging, commissioning and testing of embedded networking technologies including CAN, CAN FD, CANopen, CANopen FD, CiA447, J1939 and others. EmSA’s tutors Olaf Pfeiffer, Christian Keydel and Andrew Ayre published two books about CAN, CANopen and security on CAN systems. They regularly publish related articles and papers for various international conferences.

Contact
Embedded Systems Academy GmbH
Olaf Pfeiffer
info@esacademy.de

Training and event paper presentation videos online

February 13th, 2020 Comments off

Over the last years we published more than 50 articles, papers, books, webinars and we also continuously updated our training materials. However, some of the training material and especially scientific papers only reach a small percentage of the embedded community. Therefore we decided to publish more free educational videos to reach more of you. As a start we created several playlists on our EmSA Youtube channel. These include:

  • CANopen FD Intro:
    Introductory videos to CANopen FD, also covering some basics like an introduction to the CANopen Object Dictionary concept
  • CAN (FD) Security:
    Video collection about CAN and CAN FD security challenges and solutions
  • MCUXpresso Middleware:
    Video collection about NXP’s MCUXpresso and CANopen libraries included

We plan to publish more videos in the upcoming month, further focusing on CAN, CAN FD, CANopen, CANopen FD topics including introductory videos as well as in-depth technology classes.

Please subscribe to the channel to stay informed about new videos published.

See you at the upcoming shows and conferences: #EW2020 and #iCC2020

January 16th, 2020 Comments off

This year we present multiple papers at the upcoming Embedded World (25th to 27th of February in Nuremberg, Germany) and the international CAN Conference (17th to 18th March in Baden-Baden, Germany). Chris and I will be talking with our partners of NXP Semiconductors, PEAK

-Systemtechnik and the Hochschule Offenburg about CAN (FD) security and CANopen (FD) Smart Bridging. In our security papers, we examine how different existing and CAN capable security methods can best complement each other. With SmartBridgingFD we show how classical CANopen devices or networks can easily and transparently be mixed with newer CANopen FD installations. As classical CANopen and CANopen FD are not compatible on the bitrate level, they can not share the same CAN wiring. However, the SmartBridgeFD allows combining classical CANopen and new CANopen FD networks into one large logical network.


At the Embedded World, you can see the SmartBridgeFD integrated into the CANopen FD demonstrator at the CiA booth (hall 1 booth 630). Another of our CANopen (FD) demos will be displayed at NXP Semiconductors (hall 4A booth 220), as our CANopen software is now part of NXP’s latest SDK. Our CAN hardware partner PEAK Systemtechnik is in hall 1 (booth 483).

The Embedded World conference program is now online, we are in Session 2.1. The program for the international CAN Conference is here, our papers are in Session IV and VII.