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The PCI-Engine is an innovative tool for the design, development and acceptance testing of engine control units (ECUs).  PCI-Engine provides a complete electronics interface to the ECU to facilitate early prototyping, rapid prototyping, verification and validation testing, as well as end-of-line production testing.


From a signal perspective, PCI-Engine acts as a high-performance engine supporting up to 8 cylinders. Add a second PCI-Engine and synchronize up to 16 cylinders.

PCI-Engine integrates all the signal conditioning required to handle a range of engine configurations. Daughter boards generate an optional crank-synchronous knock signal, and provide a second channel of variable reluctance cam/crank. The PCI-Engine Signal Conditioning Board is tightly connected with the Compute Board across a low-noise interconnect.


In short, PCI-Engine provides a compact, configurable, high-performance solution for automotive engine simulation that gets you up and running fast.

PCI-Engine provides the ability to completely customize digital and analog cam and crank waveforms.  Waveforms are configured using ASCII waveform files.  To automate the process of creating a waveform file, ADI provides a simple Excel spread sheet, as shown.




PCI-Engine uses a smart architecture to perform high-accuracy signal measurement and generation. Data is exchanged between the MPC565 and the PC’s CPU using low-latency, direct-memory access. A common clock for crank-based signal synchronization generates and measures the crank-dependent signals.  The diagram below shows the architecture of the PCI-Engine.


When placed in ADI’s rtX PC-based real-time simulator, dynamic engine models provide complete real-time engine simulation. Rapid prototyping and production ECUs connect to the PCI-Engine to facilitate virtual engine testing.


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ECU developers and testers are able to accurately stimulate and monitor the ECU by adding the PCI-Engine to a standard Windows PC.  PCI-Engine includes a complete set of LabVIEW Virtual Instrument (VI) blocks enabling users to control PCI-Engine for Windows™ with LabVIEW graphical programming.  PCI-Engine also includes a comprehensive example LabVIEW panel illustrating how to control the PCI-Engine board.


simulink_enabledECU developers and testers are able to accurately stimulate and monitor the ECU by adding PCI-Engine to a standard Windows PC.  PCI-Engine for xPC Target can be used as a low-cost hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) engine simulator using Simulink and xPC Target products from The MathWorks, Inc.  An engine model is developed in Simulink with connections made between the PCI-Engine Simulink I/O blocks and the engine model inputs and outputs. The PCI-Engine then runs in an xPC target system.

The PCI-Engine Breakout Panel is a ideal companion product to PCI-Engine.  The Breakout Panel provides a convenient method of accessing and connecting the device-under-test,  adding loads, pull-up and pull-down resistors, and performing manual fault insertion.  The Breakout Panel offers an optional adjustable-angle desktop stand or an optional rack mount kit. An auxiliary set of binding posts is provided for additional user signals. These binding posts can also be used with ADI’s PCI-RTA board family for Thermistor, Lambda, UEGO, and Ratiometric sensor emulations.


For more information, see PCI-Engine datasheet in PDF (225 kb).