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Air Liquide at the heart of the digital revolution

Smartphones, connected cars, virtual reality, artificial intelligence: electronics power these surging technologies. A booming market, in which your Group has a key role to play, in particular through its innovative molecules and associated equipment.

An overview of this key subject discussed in detail by Benoît Potier during the 2019 Annual General Meeting.

Innovating for the future

Electronics is not a new market for Air Liquide. As of 1985, the Group began supplying ultra-high purity gases to the Japanese semiconductor industry. In 1987, Air Liquide inaugurated the Tsukuba Research Center in Japan, dedicated to the electronics industry. Since then, the sector has been growing exponentially, driven by Asia - the largest market - and by the significant investments being made in Europe. Its major challenge:  fitting more functionality in ever smaller and increasingly powerful chips to support the boom in the Internet of Things, Big Data, Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence and autonomous vehicles. This marked the start of the frantic race for performance.

Find out moreMolecules at the heart of new technologies

An incredible technological challenge for Air Liquide

As one of the main gas and services suppliers for this industry, Air Liquide serves several markets worth 600 billion dollars(1). From providing ultra-pure gases that ensure the cleanliness and stability required in electronics manufacturing to the development of advanced materials, the Group helps them push the boundaries of what is possible. For example, Air Liquide’s advanced materials have contributed to reducing the size of silicon transistors from 65 to 14 nanometers in the past few years. At this nano-scale, flawless quality, product stability, safety, and reliability are critical. This is why, alongside ultra-pure gases and innovative materials, Air Liquide offers the equipment and services needed to ensure their optimum delivery.

Did you know? 
100 % of the new generation smartphones are made with components, chips and memories using Air Liquide advanced materials

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Reducing the industry’s environmental footprint

Like other industries, electronics companies are striving to develop more efficient products that result in less greenhouse gas emissions. Assisting them in this ambition, Air Liquide has developed enScribe™, a new family of advanced etching materials that allows for the creation of chips at nanodimensions while reducing their impact on the environment.

For example, the sole use of the enScribe™ molecule by a major semi-conductor customer contributed to reducing CO2 equivalent emissions by 1% in this sector.

The launch of enScribe™ thus positions the Group as a major player, capable of supporting leaders in the electronics industry in their drive for innovation in the years ahead.

(1) The integrated circuit, flat panel and photovoltaics markets. Source: Air Liquide Electronics, May 2019.

Article published on July 11, 2019

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