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Mazda Uses MATLAB and Simulink to Speed Engine Development of SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY

Model-Based Calibration Toolbox helps optimise engine efficiency while meeting worldwide emissions standards

MathWorks announced that Mazda used MATLAB, Simulink, and Model-Based Calibration Toolbox to help speed engine development of SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY. As a result, Mazda was able to optimise the efficiency of SKYACTIV engines while meeting strict emissions standards worldwide.

SKYACTIV engines incorporate hardware advances that deliver more torque and improve fuel economy. Model-Based Calibration Toolbox helped Mazda take advantage of these advances by extracting better fuel efficiency and lowering exhaust emissions further than would have been possible with manual, spreadsheet-based calibration approaches. Mazda achieved these gains through the design of optimal test plans and optimisation methods, which minimised engine calibration workload and test cell usage.

“Finding an optimal calibration setting in a search space of five or more dimensions is difficult even for experienced calibration engineers, so we could never be certain that we had found the best possible settings,” said Shingo Harada, assistant manager, Mazda. “Model-Based Calibration Toolbox not only enabled us to identify optimal calibration settings for the SKYACTIV-D engine, it greatly reduced the engineering effort required. The models it generated accelerated control logic development, provided valuable insights, and made it easy to try new ideas.”

Mazda engineers used Simulink and Model-Based Calibration Toolbox to accelerate the generation and development of optimal calibration settings, ECU-embeddable models, and engine models for hardware-in-the-loop simulation. This design approach cut embedded model complexity in half and also improved embedded model accuracy by 80%.

“Engine calibration is critical to achieving an optimal tradeoff among emission, fuel economy, and performance. With increasing control complexity and new engine hardware, calibration development has become a key challenge,” said Jon Friedman, automotive industry marketing manager, MathWorks. “Mazda shows it’s possible to meet these often conflicting requirements by taking full advantage of the engine hardware investment, while reducing calibration workload.”

SKYACTIV-D engines meet stringent European and Japanese emission standards and are installed in production vehicles starting with model year 2012, including the Mazda CX-5.

For more details on Mazda’s use of Simulink, see the user story, “Mazda Speeds Next-Generation Engine Development of SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY.”

About MathWorks
MathWorks is the leading developer of mathematical computing software. MATLAB, the language of technical computing, is a programming environment for algorithm development, data analysis, visualisation, and numeric computation. Simulink is a graphical environment for simulation and Model-Based Design of multidomain dynamic and embedded systems. Engineers and scientists worldwide rely on these product families to accelerate the pace of discovery, innovation, and development in automotive, aerospace, electronics, financial services, biotech-pharmaceutical, and other industries. MathWorks products are also fundamental teaching and research tools in the world’s universities and learning institutions. Founded in 1984, MathWorks employs more than 2400 people in 15 countries, with headquarters in Natick, Massachusetts, USA. For additional information, visit

MathWorks United Kingdom operation is based in Cambridge, England. For additional information, visit

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