Zubax Babel - an advanced USB-CAN and UART-CAN adapter

Hi everyone,

We're announcing Zubax Babel - an advanced USB-CAN and UART-CAN adapter designed for use with UAVCAN and other CAN bus protocols. It can be used either as a complete standalone tool, as a development platform for UAVCAN-centered applications, or as an OEM component in larger systems.

The adapter has a number of important features that are rarely seen in competing designs:

  • Low latency - cumulative latency between the USB CDC ACM interface on the host system and the CAN bus is under 1 millisecond.
  • High throughput - the device handles over 5000 frames per second in either direction continuously.
  • Standard DroneCode connectors.
  • Proper prioritization of outgoing CAN frames. The adapter schedules outgoing frames properly, avoiding inner priority inversion in the transmission queue.
  • Large RX buffer allows the device to handle short-term traffic bursts without frame losses when interfaced via low-speed UART.
  • Software-controlled 120 Ohm termination resistor.
  • The CAN bus can be powered from USB via a software-controlled power switch. This enables, among other things, easy testing and configuration of UAVCAN-interfaced peripherals.
  • Quasi-standard SLCAN interface (a.k.a. LAWICEL) to the host system makes the adapter compatible with a variety of software products available on the market.
  • No drivers needed for Windows 10+, OSX, Linux.

Zubax Babel is primarily intended for UAVCAN applications, although other CAN bus protocols are supported equally well. We recommend the UAVCAN GUI Tool for use with Zubax Babel; however, there is a wide selection of software products that can talk with SLCAN adapters and therefore are compatible with Zubax Babel too.

UAVCAN GUI Tool is a cross-platform open source (sources here) application for UAVCAN bus management and diagnostics. It runs on Windows, OSX, and Linux; read the installation instructions here.

We are currently preparing a tutorial that will show how to develop a simple servo controller interfaced via UAVCAN using Zubax Babel. Stay tuned!

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