AUSTRALIAN technology company Bluechiip, along with STMicroelectronics, have transitioned to full-scale production of their MEMS-based tracking tag.
The unique tracking tag was jointly developed by the two companies, and the transition to high volume production means the companies can now meet demand in excess of 1 million tags a year.
The tag is an all-mechanical tracking chip based on MEMS resonator technology. This approach means that unlike an electronic tag, it can withstand extreme high and low temperatures, gamma radiation, moisture, and other harsh conditions.
Each chip is individually preprogrammed during manufacture with a unique identification. Together with the MEMS technology, this identification process makes it tamper proof.
The Bluechiip tag has been successfully adopted by customers in Australia, China, Italy, and the USA, mainly in applications of biobanking, pathology, clinical trials, and bio-repositories.
The road to mass production has not been easy, requiring the companies to pass all of the certifications and approvals for the unique tag, but this was helped by ST's flexibility and process expertise.
For now, the tag will be targeted to biomedical applications as the next high-growth market, although it has applications in many different areas due to its robustness. According to the companies, the tag demonstrates the pervasiveness of MEMS technology and its adaptability into new innovative solutions.