AEM Performance Electronics is a performance automotive aftermarket company based in Hawthorne, California. They devise innovative products for racers of all stripes to optimize the performance of their engines.
Today we’re going to be talking about AEM tuning. Specifically, we’ll be looking at a couple of their Infinity engine control units (ECU for short).
Pictured: an Infinity ECU with a PNP harness. Source: DriftMotion.
An ECU is a small electronic box that monitors your engine’s performance. Most ordinary drivers, who just want their cars to get them “from A to B” or something, never have to deal with their ECU and may not even know that it exists. But for gearheads and racing aficionados, using an ECU can be like waving a magic wand to instantly tune up your car’s handling, fuel efficiency, and overall performance.
Normally this sort of thing is reserved for the absolute pinnacle of the racing world. With the Infinity ECU, AEM has made this technology affordable for both professional race teams and amateur racers. All Infinity ECUs come enabled, without any add-on purchases required. That plus AEM’s industry-leading after-purchase support system, including free tech support, means that the Infinity is the ultimate ECU for both professional race teams and weekend track cars.
As you can see, the Infinity ECU can accommodate up to 12 ignition coils.
According to the experts from AEM, “if you know your air flow, injector size, and target AFR, then a VE-based system like the Infinity will automatically determine how much fuel is required at any RPM under any condition.” “You’re gonna see an increase of VE at a lower RPM, and that’s all it is. It increases the engine’s breathing capacity at a certain RPM.” This lets you “tune your car’s power to your needs.” So “you can forget about having to make fuel corrections … this will speed up your tuning time and lead to a host of other tuning advantages.”
Some key features of the Infinity include:
- A 200MHz processor for more responsiveness and a better driving experience.
- More accurate ignition timing, which allows the engine to create more power.
- Faster processor for performing even more computational features without any loss in processing performance.
- Strategic processing with optimized load balancing, which allows for one feature to be tuned without impacting the performance of another feature.
Some of its notable capabilities include:
- Airflow model-based calculations.
- This feature takes precise measurements and calculations of airflow to greatly reduce the time to set up and tune an engine.
- User interface software
- This is for optimizing speed and performance. The infinity simplifies the calibration setup work through a smart interface that lets you pick and choose the engine functions you want to modify.
- Ultra-high-resolution fuel control
- The infinity will calculate injector pulse width down to units of one tenth of a microsecond. If you feel the need for even more resolution than that, you got bigger problems, pal.
- Accurate ignition timing
- The infinity’s tuning software features a 3-d ignition trim map (it’s coolant and air temp based), and its back-end timing code has been tested to 100,000 rpm.
- Flex fuel compensation
- With this feature, the infinity can make automatic adjustments based on flex fuel. It can do the same for ethanol content in the fuel, with the addition of an ethanol content sensor (not included).
- Multi-fuel capabilities
- The infinity can run two individual fuel types at the same time through staged fuel injection processes.
- Idle control
- The infinity uses an idle control model that includes an rpm vs. Engine speed rate and an idle deceleration feature that provides accurate control of the IAC and allows for adjustment of engine braking.
- Multiple boost control strategies available
- Nitrous control
- Here the software lets you perform a wet or dry nitrous set up. This feature includes nitrous timing delay to take into account nitrous bleed out and can be further set up for water and/or methanol injection tuning.
- Map switching
- The infinity includes up to 4 distinct ignition maps, 4 separate lambda maps, and 2 VE maps with independent values. Using AEM’s 12-position trim pot, this feature allows for multiple maps and multiple track conditions, among many other features.
- Engine protection
- Your engine is what this is all about, right? Luckily, the infinity comes with many engine protection strategies. These include map, overboost, fuel pressure, and oil pressure strategies
- Real-time advanced diagnostics
- The diagnostics software can be set up to check signal and current quality and alert the user of a potential issue before engine damage can occur.
- Closed loop AFR feedback control
- Infinity series 3 users have the option to add up to 2 external and wideband AFR (that’s “air and fuel ratio”) sensor controllers.
- Dual knock sensing
- Dual-knock signal conditioning circuits enable exact measurements of knock levels. The infinity ecu can use both piezoelectric (it’s a real word, we swear) and flat-response-type knock sensors.
- The infinity ecu is able to transfer data via USB at up to 480 Mb per second and includes a fully sealed IP67 communications connection system.
- Network interfaces
- Did you know AEM has their own network? This ECU is AEMnet-enabled and can communicate with another AEMnet-equipped device.
Infinity Series 3 ECU
The Infinity Series 3 ECU. It may look like an old modem that you used in 2005 but trust us this thing is the key to unlocking your racecar’s hidden potential. Source: AEM.
This little black box is the Infinity Series 3 ECU. It is a state-of-the-art and super affordable option for Ford, GM, and Mopar EFI and TBI V8 engines. Designed for the early- and late-throttle body and port-injected engines, the Series 3 ECUs are simplified and envisioned to run a basic race, marine, or crate engine.
The Infinity 308 in particular is a perfect upgrade for users looking to replace their older MEFI-4 system. This also provides you with an upgrade path to sequential port injection and “smart” coil-near-plug ignition. The Infinity 358 (PN 30-7114), meanwhile, is made to control 2V and 4V Ford Modular engines, late-model Dodge Hemi engines, and various other late-model, individual direct-drive coil V8 engines.
Infinity Series 5 ECU
The 5-series Infinity ECUs are all designed for 4- or 6-cylinder racing engines and racing engines with up to 8 cylinders that use high-impedance injector. The Series 5 features a smaller footprint than the Series 7 (it’s only 5.855” x 5.55” x 1.8”). Additionally, the Infinity 508 is specially designed for racing engines with high performance V8 crate engines. It is also great for engines using high impedance injectors with up to 8 cylinders. The 506, on the other hand, is designed for racing engines with up to 6 cylinders. Both 506 and 508 models are currently available.
Sources: Phoenix Tuning.
Infinity Series 7 ECU
This ECU is the cream of the crop. Built around the latest 32-bit floating point 200MHz processor with a real-time operating system, this ECU can process 400 MIPS (that’s “millions of instructions per second” to you). This allows this Infinity to do more, faster, than any other ECU out there. You can choose between the Infinity 708, 710, or 712 based on your personal needs of vehicle.
InfinityTuner Engine Management Software
This is the Infinity ECU’s user interface software. It is optimized for both speed and performance and features high-res 3-D graphics. It also includes user-selectable control types and an ECU Setup Wizard that will walk you through the complicated calibration work and simplify the steps. You can modify the calibration data when and where you need to make your tuning as efficient as possible. Moreover, the software is highly flexible and lets you pick from several different strategies for:
- Boost control
- Idle control
- Traction control
- Charge air temperature blend
- Launch control
If that weren’t enough, the InfinityTuner is a powerful and flexible piece of processing software. It lets users design unique, custom conversion channels for their table data and data can be analyzed according to almost any function that you can program.
Pictured here is the InfinityTuner customizable workspace, complete with more tables and data than you can shake a stick at. The Data logging mode is programmed to sync to controls and let you recalibrate your ECU exactly the way you want. Source: AEM.
Note that there is no list of pre-defined functions included; if you want to use this software, you need to be able to either input the functions yourself or find a source for them elsewhere. AEMdata, AEM’s state-of-the-art data logging analysis software, is included as well.
And here we have the InfinityTuner’s diagnostics software. This software can be reconfigured to continuously monitor signal and current quality. It will alert you of a potential issue before engine damage can occur. Source: AEM.
Download the software here.
Be aware that this software and ecu should only be used on vehicles in officially sanctioned competitions. They are prohibited on a public road or highway, unless permitted by specific regulatory exemption. Seriously, don’t ever take these things on the highway. It turns out that the power of the Infinity ECU and its software are quite powerful. They were never meant for mortal men.