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Controllers Bulk up to manage engine's intricacies

  • Magazine Feature Article
  • 12AEID0703_02
Published July 03, 2012 by SAE International in United States
  • English

Chips hold more memory and boost throughput to help improve fuel efficiency.

The push to further slash fuel consumption and emissions is prompting major changes in engine control architectures. Microcontroller clock speeds aren't rising much, but memory sizes are soaring, driven in part by the growing need to retrieve data from a growing number of sensors.

Until battery technologies make electrified powertrains more viable, internal-combustion engines will have to go farther on every gallon of fuel. That feat is being accomplished in part by electronic controls that observe and manage many events in fractions of a second.