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13 Jun 2013 | Text by Regan Ong, Photos by Low Fai Ming

RaceChip Ultimate gives your vehicle that added dose of performance and, at the same time, provides convenience with its plug and play function.

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In modern vehicles, small computers control and monitor the engine. This computer, the so-called control device, more commonly known as the electronic control unit (ECU), is connected to the engine with cables and plugs.

One of the most common ways to 'upgrade' the electronic control unit is using plug in modules like this
The ECU receives analogue and digital signals and then calculates control commands for ignition, injection, emission control and others by reading values from a multitude of sensors within the engine bay, interpreting the data using multidimensional performance maps (called lookup tables), and adjusting the engine actuators accordingly.
 
Of course, sometimes we feel that there is that need for speed, as well as more power and more torque. So how do we achieve the needed adrenaline boost?

Chip tuning

Chip tuning refers to changing or modifying an erasable programmable read only memory chip in a vehicle's ECU to achieve superior performance, in terms of more power, more torque with cleaner emissions, or better fuel efficiency.

Chip tuning via additional control device

Chip tuning with an additional control device comprises a simple package of a cable and the device itself
For chip tuning via an additional control device, either the driver or a garage installs an additional electronic control device that is connected to the engine and the actual ECU. There are no constructional modifications of the engine or the ECU.

The operation is also really simple - the electronics of the additional device modifies the engine control in real time. The performance map is then optimised to create a significant and directly noticeable power improvement. With more power, fuel consumption can be maintained as there is now a lesser need to drive with a heavier foot.

With this kind of chip tuning, the engine protection programme remains unchanged. There’s also no risk of overloading other engine components. The original software of the vehicle also remains unchanged and if a top speed limitation (V-Max) is determined for your vehicle, it'll remain.

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