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Innovate & CoorsTek Announce Advanced Oxygen and NOx Sensor Manufacturing Agreement
21st November, 2008

Innovate! Technology and CoorsTek today announced an agreement to produce next-generation wideband oxygen and NOx sensors. The agreement combines Innovate's DirectDigital(TM) sensor technology with CoorsTek's global high-volume manufacturing capacity.

"We're enthusiastic about partnering with CoorsTek for this next critical stage in the commercialization of DirectDigital(TM) sensing technology," states Patrick Thompson, Innovate's president. "CoorsTek's significant expertise and manufacturing scale in technical ceramics is a perfect fit for our signal-processing and ASIC capabilities."

Under the agreement, CoorsTek will produce the high-temperature co-fired ceramic (HTCC) elements that are at the heart of the sensors, while Innovate will produce the application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) that provide the sensor control and signal-conditioning functions. Final packaging and test will be performed by external contract manufacturers certified to ISO/TS16949:2002 standards.

Initial production will be utilized to serve the performance aftermarket, in which Innovate is a leader under their "Innovate Motorsports" brand, offering air/fuel ratio meters, gauges, and data loggers. (See for more info on Innovate Motorsports.)

"This agreement provides us with a clear path to expand our emissions-sensing product portfolio," explains Doug Coors, VP of CoorsTek. "Using Innovate's considerable aftermarket demand as an entry platform, we look forward to serving the growing global OEM markets for smart engine controls, enabling cleaner and more efficient combustion systems for the future."

Innovate's patented DirectDigital(TM) measurement technology applies advanced digital signal processing (DSP) algorithms to zirconia sensing elements, delivering superior response times, self-calibration to compensate for sensor drift, and advanced diagnostics. DirectDigital(TM) is covered by numerous US and international patents.

Advantages of the Innovate/CoorsTek sensors are expected to include superior sensor response times, enabling individual-cylinder measurements with a single sensor; self diagnostics; and self-calibration capabilities which compensate for sensor aging and/or changes in barometric pressure. Other advantages include sealed designs which require no reference air, and thus can function in off-road or road or in other environments that include dirt, grease, or other contaminants. Finally, due to certain advances in materials and fabrication, the sensor is anticipated to be offered below the cost of existing emissions sensors.

"Automakers worldwide are looking to expand adoption of smart exhaust sensors," says Thompson. "With DirectDigital(TM) and our partnership with CoorsTek, we believe that Innovate can deliver performance and intelligence at a low cost, dramatically changing the sensor/emissions market. Also, emerging markets like China and India want to leapfrog directly to the smartest electronics available, so we think there are plenty of opportunities."

More about Innovate ...

Based in Southern California, Innovate is committed to relentless product development, high manufacturing quality, and excellent technical support. Innovate's DirectDigital(TM) technology is a critical enabler for next-generation ultra-efficient engines, helping solve the "big" problems of fossil-fuel dependence and climate change. For more information on Innovate, visit the Company's website at

More about CoorsTek ...

Established in 1910, CoorsTek is the largest technical ceramics manufacturer in North America, and a leading provider of components and advanced material solutions for the automotive, aerospace, telecom, semiconductor, medical, and general industrial markets. The company owns over two million square feet of manufacturing capacity in more than 20 facilities worldwide.

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Tags:  Manufacturing - Innovate & Coorstek - Technology

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