STMicroelectronics and University of Amsterdam Faculty of Science Cooperate to Soar with Birds

Thu Feb 7, 2013 9:00am EST

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

For best results when printing this announcement, please click on the link below:

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)[1] #_ftn1 , 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 (

"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. 

About STMicroelectronics

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

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.

About MEMS
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:
Michael Markowitz
Director Technical Media Relations
+1 781 591 0354 


[1] #_ftnref1  IHS iSuppli: MEMS Competitive Analysis 2012

ST and UvA Cooperate to Soar with Birds 
MEMS Tracking Device Soars with Birds 


This announcement is distributed by Thomson Reuters on behalf of Thomson Reuters clients.

The owner of this announcement warrants that:
(i) the releases contained herein are protected by copyright and other applicable laws; and
(ii) they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the
information contained therein.

Source: STMicroelectronics via Thomson Reuters ONE


Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.