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Bluechiip Nears Commercial Launch of System for Biobanking Apps

The company has lined up a manufacturer—STMicroelectronics—to make its passive RFID sensor tags, which are based on MEMS technology, measure 4 millimeters across and can transmit temperature data at -196 degrees Celsius.
By Claire Swedberg
Several substantial changes have taken place since an early prototype was developed in 2007. Although initially, Schwarz says, the MEMS tag transmitted at the 13.56 MHz high-frequency (HF) radio band, the new version uses an RF band between 1.5 MHz and 4.2 MHz, which increases the signal's quality.

Bluechiip converted from a private firm to an unlisted public company in March 2010. The company is now preparing to list itself on the Australian Stock Exchange via an IPO to raise AUS$3 million to AUS$6 million, to be used to fund the final stage of development and the subsequent commercialization of the MEMS solution.

STMicroelectronics intends to begin manufacturing the tags by the end of this year, thereby enabling Bluechiip to make the system commercially available to health-care businesses that may have already utilized the evaluation kit and want to track tissue vials or bags in freezers. "ST's extensive experience in MEMS technologies and its solid manufacturing capabilities make it the perfect partner to Bluechiip in commercializing our innovative tracking tag," Schwarz states. Other key markets for the technology in the future will include security, defense, industrial, manufacturing, waste, aerospace and aviation, he says, "which play to the robust nature of the Bluechiip technology."

"Bluechiip is an innovative early-stage company, that has developed a groundbreaking tracking solution, aimed at a range of markets, but initially in health care, such as biobanks," says Francesco Italia, the general manager of ST Microelectronics' sensors and microactuators business unit. "ST will manufacture the silicon, and we anticipate continuing our efforts to make Bluechiip successful."

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