AEM Infinity ECU Preview- Apex reports from SEMA 2011

Advanced Engine Management SystemsI just got back from the SEMA show, where we met with some of our favorite suppliers and saw their new products for 2012.  One of the most interesting is the AEM Infinity ECU.  Apex is arranging a test in the coming weeks, but for now here’s a preview on what has the potential to be a game-changer in the ECU market.

I spoke with AEM’s Kirk Miller, Devin Pearson and John Romero about all their new products including the Infinity-10 ECU.  After seeing them in the display and handling the software a bit, here’s what we know.

Hardware

The Infinity-10 ECU sets up to impress right away, with a twin-CPU design that features a 200Mhz 32-bit processor and a 20Mhz 16-bit aux processor.  Twin CPU designs are nothing new  but the speeds and capabilities of this new system are 3-4x faster that what we’ve seen even in our most top end products.  Other highlights:

  • 12 peak & hold injector drivers & 10 injector drivers – Can you say “fully sequential Viper?”
  • 23 analog and 10 digital inputs.  Sounds like plenty for some chassis logging, 4 cams, 4 wheelspeeds and switch inputs to spare.  If they make these inputs flexible enough, this can do controls AND chassis logging in 1 simple package!
  • 10 low side drivers, 3 high side drives.  Should be enough for 4 cam variable valve timing, dual idle air control valves and – who knows – maybe some paddle-shift transmission control!
  • Dual drive by wire.  BMW & Ferrari no problem!
  • Dual knock inputs & 2 CAN ports.  Very complete, keeping up with some of the top products in the industry.
BMW V10

The Infinity 10 should be capable of controlling the most complex engines, including these BMW V10s

On paper, this ECU is going to be able to control the majority of our most complex motors.  Apex has a lot of experience with technologically advanced engines such as BMW V10s, Dodge Viper V10s, Lamborghini V12s and odd things like 12-injector 2 stroke outboard motors.  Very few ECUs in the market have the capability of running these motors properly, and the Infinity-10 promises to greatly expand choices in this end of the market.

Data Logging

This is one area where the Infinity-10 really looks to shine.  AEM has added some incredible data logging capabilities, which can add a lot of value to the ECU by taking over some or all of the chassis logging functions.  One innovation is it logs on a USB flash drive to save data.  In a land of 1MB ECUs, this could revolutionize how we monitor our motors.  Highlights include:

  • AEM Log 2 Screenshot

    The Infinity-10 will use the AEM Log 2 software, like their AQ-1 Data Logger

    Standard 2GB data logging, up to 32 available.  That’s 2GB, or 2048 times MORE memory than many of the ECUs we rather like here at Apex!

  • Capability to log 100 channels at 1000Hz PER CHANNEL.  That’s a ton of data – including the ability to record per-cylinder events for a large RPM range, look at control strategies in critical detail and even analyze things such as damper travel.
  • Up to 500Hz PC logging.  A lot of high-end ECUs don’t pay much mind to PC logging; AEM not only keeps this feature but makes it more powerful than we’ve ever seen.  This helps speed up tuning considerably.

Software Features

AEM’s tuner software has always been a favorite of mine, rivaling the best for ease-of-use and intuitive design.  The high-end features are all here including adaptive boost control, flex fuel, traction control, etc.  What’s really interesting in the potential for developers to write their own control strategies for these ECUs.  We’re not sure how this will be implemented yet or what the limits are, but its going to take the art of custom-control strategies for things like boost, launch control and traction control to the next level.  The other big benefit are security features that will allow maps to be locked to ECUs and encrypted.

So what’s next?

Apex Speed Technology is eagerly awaiting a test unit; Tim’s already volunteered his EVO-9 (running a Vi-PEC V44 plug & play currently) to give this thing a run, and once its tuned we’ll give you a full report.  AEM’s definitely hit it out of the ballpark on the spec sheet.  Now if they can implement the ECU and software as well as they have with their recent products, like their 4 channel lambda amp, AQ-1 logger and new Wideband Failsafe gauge, this is going to be a formidable contender in the ECU market.  But they will have their work cut out for them – the guys at Pectel, MOTEC & Bosch Motorsports have got really great software & hardware too.  To make things really interesting, there are rumors of a sub-$2500 price, which would make it an unprecedented value.  We can’t wait to learn more, and we’ll keep you all updated!

 

 

 

About Neel

President of Apex Speed Technology
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