STMicroelectronics and University of Amsterdam Faculty of Science Cooperate to
Soar With Birds
Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) Technology Tracks Bird
Migration and Behavior
GENEVA -- (Marketwire) -- 02/07/13 -- STMicroelectronics (NYSE:
STM), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the
spectrum of electronics applications and the world's top manufacturer
of MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems), and the University of
Amsterdam (UvA) Faculty of Science have announced that a
sophisticated bird-tracking system developed by the university is
using advanced MEMS sensing technology from ST.
Weighing as little as a 20 euro cent coin or a US quarter and smaller
than a car key so as not to impede the birds' flight, the tracking
systems are sophisticated data loggers that can be attached to the
back of the birds. The trackers enable valuable scientific research
on bird behavior by measuring GPS position every 3 seconds.
In addition to the bird's location, determined via the Global
Positioning System, the tracker collects acceleration and direction
data from STMicroelectronics' LSM303DLM digital compass that
integrates low-power, high-performance motion and magnetic sensing in
a miniature form factor. The MEMS chip monitors the direction and
vertical/horizontal orientation of the animal and can determine the
body angle of birds flying in a crosswind.
The tracker also contains sensors that measure both the air
temperature and the internal temperature of the device. A lithium
battery, charged by a high-efficient triple-junction solar cell,
provides power to the system, and a ZigBee transceiver manages
wireless data communication to and from the device.
Data from the trackers is currently being shared among bird-research
institutes and biologists to verify computer models that predict bird
behavior and migration patterns (www.UvA-BiTS.nl).
"MEMS technologies are finding their way into a broad range of
applications and only ST has the breadth of technologies available to
serve as a one-stop supplier," said Benedetto Vigna, Executive Vice
President and General Manager of ST's Analog, MEMS and Sensors Group.
"The light weight, low power, and high accuracy of the MEMS make it
ideal for innovative projects like UvA's bird tracking system to
study avian migration and behavior."
"Animals have a lot to teach us and, especially as the Earth's
climate changes, there are many projects that we can undertake to
study animal behavior and migration patterns," said Prof. Dr. Ir.
Willem Bouten of UvA. "STMicroelectronics is a strong partner for us
in developing technologies that are suitable and adaptable to
researching challenging problems that could help us address the
effects of global warming and land use change."
ST is a global leader in the semiconductor
market serving customers across the spectrum of sense and power and
automotive products and embedded processing solutions. From energy
management and savings to trust and data security, from healthcare
and wellness to smart consumer devices, in the home, car and office,
at work and at play, ST is found everywhere microelectronics make a
positive and innovative contribution to people's life. By getting
more from technology to get more from life, ST stands for
In 2012, the Company's net revenues were $8.49 billion. Further
information on ST can be found at www.st.com.
About University of Amsterdam
The bird tracking system is developed
in a close collaboration of the Institute for Biodiversity and
Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED) and the Technology Centre (TC) both of the
Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam. TC supports
scientific groups of the faculty in the areas of mechanical
construction, electronics and software, thus stimulating innovative
research. The Faculty of Science is a leading centre of academic
research and education with a broad range of strong research groups.
MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) technology
exploits the mechanical as well as the electrical properties of
silicon. In conventional silicon chips, electrons move within the
static silicon. However, silicon also has several important
mechanical properties e.g. it is stronger than steel yet has high
elasticity. The techniques that are used to build silicon transistors
can also be adapted to build microscopic silicon structures such as
cantilevers, springs and even gears that are capable of physical
movement, allowing the manufacture of highly miniaturized sensors and
 IHS iSuppli: MEMS Competitive Analysis 2012
ST and UvA Cooperate to Soar with Birds:
MEMS Tracking Device Soars with Birds:
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