STMicroelectronics : 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, February 7, 2013 - 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 sensingin 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 life.augmented.
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 activators.
For Press Information Contact:
Director Technical Media Relations
+1 781 591 0354
 IHS iSuppli: MEMS Competitive Analysis 2012
ST and UvA Cooperate to Soar with Birds
MEMS Tracking Device Soars with Birds
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