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

Thu Feb 7, 2013 9:43am EST

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

  GENEVA, Feb 07 (Marketwire) -- 
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], 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

    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.

    [1] IHS iSuppli: MEMS Competitive Analysis 2012

    ST and UvA Cooperate to Soar with Birds: 

    MEMS Tracking Device Soars with Birds: 


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