MEMS-resonator based Bluechiip/STMicroelectronics tracking tag hits volume production

August 12, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
Australian technology company, Bluechiip Limited and STMicroelectronics, have announced high-volume production for their jointly developed, MEMS-based tracking tags with the ability to meet demand in excess of 1 million tags a year.

The Bluechiip tag is an ultra-high-integrity, all-mechanical tracking chip that, unlike an electronic tag, is impervious to extreme high and low temperatures, gamma radiation, moisture, and other harsh conditions that would compromise traditional identification or tracking solutions such as labels, barcodes, or RFID technologies. This new chip uses MEMS resonator technology and contains no electronics whatsoever. Each chip is individually preprogrammed during manufacture with a unique identification, a process that also makes it tamper proof.

Although the Bluechiip tracking technology was initially developed for applications in the healthcare and biomedical industries, its extreme robustness, ability to track temperature, and resistance to tampering is ideally suited for other high-value applications in food, vaccines, security, defense, aerospace, and aviation.

The Bluechiip tag has been adopted by customers in Australia, China, Italy, and the USA, mainly in applications of biobanking and other biomedical related fields such as pathology, clinical trials, and bio-repositories.

Anton Hofmeister, General Manager of ST's Fluidic MEMS Division said, “Passing all of the certifications and approvals for the unique Bluechiip tag is an important milestone. ST’s MEMS technical leadership and partner-driven approach accelerates innovation and helps us and our partners expand quickly into new markets.”

The biomedical application of the Bluechiip tag is a strategic move by ST to target the use of Motion MEMS technology into the next high-growth area. ST has pioneered and led the application of MEMS in mobile devices, gaming, automotive, navigation, healthcare, wellness, and the coming wave of wearables. The new “tracking” market addressed by the Bluechiip tag demonstrates, ST says, the pervasiveness of MEMS technology and its adaptability into new innovative solutions.

Bluechiip Limited has developed a wireless tracking technology, which represents a generational change from current methods such as labels, barcodes and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification). The Bluechiip tag is based on MEMS technology and contains no electronics. The tag can either be embedded or manufactured into products, such as vials or medical