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LIN: Basics

As the name suggests, a Local Interconnect Network is a communication network protocol. It is a

Single wire-serial network protocol that supports communications up to 19.2 Kbit/s at a bus length of 40 meters with a speed of 20 bit/s. Though knowing these specifications, one may realise the

mightiness of CAN Bus, but that is the very reason why LIN Bus found its existence in the world of communication network protocols. LIN Bus satisfies the need for a low-cost alternative for the components with considerably low speed and low bandwidth requirements. Practically, CAN bus can be costly to be used for every single component of the car. Hence, LIN serves as a low-cost alternative to enable communication between mostly mechatronic components of the vehicles.


Typically, the components that do not affect the vehicle's performance make use of LIN Buses for communication. It was developed as an initiative by five automakers; namely, BMW, Volkswagen Group, Audi, Volvo Cars, Mercedes-Benz), with the technologies such as networking and hardware supplied from Volcano Automotive Group and Motorola. LIN version 1.3 was the first fully implemented version of the new LIN specification (November 2002). Version 2.0 was introduced in September 2003, with expanded configuration capabilities and provisions for significant additional diagnostics features and tool interfaces.


Features of LIN Bus:

There are a bunch of features that have added to the popularity of the LIN bus. Some being:


Work Principles of LIN Bus:

LIN makes use of only one wire (single wire bus). On one such network, 16 nodes can be accommodated. One of the 16 nodes functions as a "Master", the others automatically serve as the "Slaves". Unlike CAN, which is a pure Master-Master setup, LIN is a typical Master-slave configuration. Where one node passes the instructions/commands and the other follow. Here, there can be one to 15 slaves, and the master device contains both a master task and a slave task. The master and slaves are typically microcontrollers. The Communication network inside a vehicle is a collaboration of CAN and LIN buses. LIN Bus is used for body electronics, and CAN is implemented for mainstream powertrain and body communications. In LIN, the sub-systems can be connected by a backbone network using a CAN Bus.