Infotech Lead Europe: Linde Electronics, an electronics business of The Linde Group, has entered into a partnership with elchem to accelerate the development of Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS).
MEMS are miniaturized electro-mechanical elements that are widely used in many mobile and automotive applications such as accelerometers, pressure sensors, compasses and microphones. MEMS play a key role in machine-to-machine (M2M) communications which will drive the next semiconductor growth wave.
As the demand for MEMs rises, the strategic partnership of Linde and Pelchem will help distribute xenon difluoride (XeF2), a critical material used in the manufacture of MEMS. Pelchem has a sizeable share of the global XeF2 market and Linde’s customers include the world’s leading device manufacturers. Their agreement will enable the companies to take the lead in material supply for the world’s MEMS market.
The global MEMS market is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 13 percent to 2017 mainly due to advancements in M2M communications. M2M communications will form the basis of the internet of things that will further increase the demand for MEMS. Analysts forecast that the Global M2M market will grow at a CAGR of 26.08 percent over the period 2012-2016.
The properties of XeF2 make it suitable to etching MEMS silicon. The control of this step becomes more crucial as the patterns etched become smaller and more complex. XeF2 is a highly selective and directional etchant of silicon which enables complex structures to be created quickly, uniformly and at the small sizes required for integration into almost any device.
In FY 2012, Linde generated revenue of EUR 15.28 billion and its net profit increased 6.5 percent to EUR 1.25 billion.