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The Internet of Things

While the penetration of the internet into human's everyday lives is impressive, it may not be comparable to the current and upcoming phenomenon of the 'things' being connected. The Internet of Things, or IoT world is exploding at a breathtaking place to reach a projected 50 billion devices in 2020. It is made up of a whole range of devices - from minuscule chips to industrial equipment - that use wireless technology to talk to each other and to us.

The IoT is the third and biggest wave in the development of internet, following the initial spread of desktop-computer connections in the 1990s and wireless mobile connections in the last decade.

It is the expansion of the Internet used by people to communicate, monitor and remotely analyze data from all types of systems, including factory equipment, vehicles, home appliances, energy networks, wireless and wearable sensors, consumer electronics, and all types of other objects.

Networked things (systems, sensors and objects) contain technology to communicate, sense and interact with their own conditions and operations or the environment around them, including external systems. Human intervention will no longer be required.

Number of connected devices vs number of humans
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A variety of markets

Some of those devices are constantly with us: it is our phone, our tablet, our watch... But a large amount of the smart things are actually in factories, in business or in healthcare.

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IoT does not only address a single market but covers a large number of end-use segments. These new markets promise a bright future for the electronics industry. Not only for the manufacturers but also for their suppliers in gas and advanced materials which enable these technological breakthroughs. This is where we operate.

At Air Liquide, we are working in step with each customer's pace of progress to pioneer molecule technology and keep improving our products and processes to advance nanotechnology.

Air Liquide complex gases and other materials are used for cutting edge technologies, enabling the manufacture of faster and smaller chips built with billion transistors.


You've probably heard of Moore's law. This statement predicts that the number of transistors that can be placed on integrated circuits doubles every two years. This leads to an exponentially increasing power while reducing the relative manufacturing cost. Now that we are approaching the final stage of Moore's Law, the grand question to be answered is:

How do we gain value and improve our electronic devices from here on?


The dimension of the chips in our devices keeps reducing over the year

More of Moore

MORE  MINIATURIZATION. The miniaturization continues with a current target of 7 nanometers shrinkage. As of today, one transistor (the most basic electronic component) measures 10 nanometers. A processor contains 2 billion of these. The whole transistor measures the size of your nail.

More than Moore

MORE CONNECTED DEVICES. By 2020, one person will possess 7 connected devices on average, and will generate more data than 20 people back in 2008. Then, why would the processor higher speed or smaller size would be useful if the application doesn't follow? This would be like having a smartphone without any access to Internet, high definition camera, GPS or running tracker app. Analog chips remain a critical component in almost all applications in today's digital world. The analog deals with the semiconductor technologies to transfer element of the nature (image, sounds and senses) into digital. IoT is by essence a huge user of analog chips.


"$1 is the value of electronics materials in a smartphone: the most valuable connected device ever!"

Jean-Baptiste Salles, Vice President Markets & Customers, Electronics, 2014-18

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"It may not be easy to realize how Air Liquide actively participates to the value creation of these billion of connected devices. Yet, the chip of your smartphone is more likely to be made from Air Liquide materials and gas. Air Liquide is at the very beginning of the value chain: we are part of the foundations, the “cement and sand” that build the processors of your devices."