Embedded Communication Protocol Options

Bhargav P. Upender

Philip J. Koopman, Jr.

Upender, B. & Koopman, P., "Embedded Communication Protocol Options," Proceedings of Embedded Systems Conference 1993, Santa Clara, pp. 469-480, October 1993; repeated in Proceedings of Embedded Systems Conference East 1994, Boston, April 1994.


Developers are realizing that traditional low-speed, point-to-point links are inadequate for their increasingly complex distributed embedded applications. Consequently, they are investigating multiplexed communication network protocols to incorporate advanced system capabilities, increase reliability, and reduce wiring requirements. This paper discusses special considerations for embedded system networks, a family tree of "standard" protocols, media access tradeoffs, and attractive options for off-the-shelf solutions. Based on real-time performance, cost, and hardware availability, ARCnet, CAN, and LON are strong contenders for most embedded systems.

Acrobat paper (735 Kbytes)


Philip Koopman: koopman@cmu.edu