CAN dictionary

Explains vocabulary and abbreviations used in CAN technology

Alphabetic selection:


hamming distance

In general, the hamming distance between two strings of equal length measures the number of errors that transformed one string into the other. CAN provides a hamming distance of 6 (theoretical value for CAN networks). This indicates that five randomly distributed bit failures can be detected. In addition burst errors of up to 15 bit can be detected. CAN provides no bit correction mechanisms.

hard synchronization

All CAN nodes are internally hard synchronized to the falling edge of the SOF bit detected on the bus. Hard synchronization is performed during bus idle, suspend transmission and the second or third bit of inter-frame space.


CANopen and DeviceNet use the heartbeat message to indicate that a node is still alive. The device transmits this message periodically.

high speed CAN

A term which usually means a CAN bus following the ISO 11898-2 physical layer. This is the normal type of CAN bus. It can operate from around 10 kbit/s up to 1 Mbit/s.

higher-layer protocol (HLP)

Higher-layer protocols define communication protocols compliant to the transport layer, session, presentation, or application layer as specified in the OSI reference model.

high-speed transceiver

Transceiver compliant to ISO 11898-2 for bit rates up to including 1 Mbit/s (for Classical CAN and in the arbitration phase of CAN FD frames) and up to 5 Mbit/s for the data phase of CAN FD frames.

Source CANdictionary (2016) - CiA CAN in Automation -