In-Vehicle Networking with LIN Technology (Automotive)
Local Interconnect Network (LIN) automotive communication protocol offers a cost-effective way to deliver low-speed communication. It is used for all comfort and convenience applications in modern cars. Instead of every air conditioning vent, electrical seat motor, window lifter, etc. being individually wired point-to-point to its own switches, the LIN infrastructure means that only one wire is needed to connect up to 16 separate points.
LIN has the capability of addressing all applications which cannot be directly connected to the controller area network (CAN) because of the high costs involved. Therefore it is necessary to bring the costs of LIN modules to a level, which is far below CAN. Up to now this was only possible via state machines, which have the disadvantage that they can only be implemented for single applications at a time and lack flexibility. Changes are difficult to implement and can only be envisaged with considerable engineering effort and development time. Conventional microcontroller unit (MCU) architectures are flexible, but these devices don’t cover most applications at the cost level needed for LIN.
Melexis has, specifically for LIN deployment, developed a completely new MCU concept. This combines the efficiency, robustness and cost-effectiveness of a state machine with the flexibility of a conventional MCU solution. This is done by separating the processing of the LIN protocol and the application.