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Discussion Starter #1
I stumbled across a couple of excellent short articles (despite Whinypedia's editorial complaints) about what the ECMs in most of our 2.0 cars do, and why. They also explain why you only use OEM spark plugs and coils. ;)

General concepts
Trionic engine management system

Trionic 8 specifics
Trionic 8 EMS

HTH anyone trying to diagnose these. There's also some basic info about tuning.
 
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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Engine timing and knock detection (ionization current measurement in the WIS) is the black magic part of T8 - the knock detection is literally plasma physics, since the peak temperature of the combustion burn is a low temperature (~1500°C, or 0.14 ev) plasma, and the spark plug is used during "off time" as a Langmuir probe:

"A Langmuir probe is a device used to determine the electron temperature, electron density, and electric potential of a plasma. It works by inserting one or more electrodes into a plasma, with a constant or time-varying electric potential between the various electrodes or between them and the surrounding vessel. The measured currents and potentials in this system allow the determination of the physical properties of the plasma."

Since this measurement also gives timing information on a good burn, there is no need for a cam position sensor.
 
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