The CiA 401 device profile for generic I/O modules specifies the communication behavior of process data objects (PDO) and defines the default PDO mapping. Devices compliant to this specification are partly interchangeable. Sophisticated configuration options allow adaptability to very different applications. The device profile defines the communication, configuration, and application objects but also the default behavior after power-on and application reset.
CANopen devices compliant to CiA 401 use default communication objects as well as default application objects. The implementation of manufacturer-specific functions (e.g. signal conditioning and filters) is not standardized. For analog sensors it is therefore highly recommended to implement the CiA 404 profile for analog sensor applications.