Intel Gets the Lead Out


Intel Corp. has taken another step toward being greener by announcing that they will stop using lead in its new microprocessors. The company, featured on TreeHugger before for their green building initiatives, new, smaller chip and computer-imbedded surfboard (?!?), will start the lead-free process with the Penryn line of processors made using a 45-nanometer process. Intel has been working to eliminate lead from its chips for several years -- in 2002, when it started shipping flash memory that used lead-free solder made from tin, silver and copper. By 2004, the company managed to replace most of the lead solder (about 95%) used in its chip sets and processors with their new tin-silver-copper solder -- and development efforts have been costly. In 2005, an Intel executive revealed the company had spent $100 million to develop the alternative material to replace lead in solder used to package chips; the result was a "secret sauce"-type solder cocktail that uses a tin-silver-copper alloy. The shift in solder materials will not affect the performance of the chips, according to the company. While this particular announcement does nothing to further the fight against the e-waste explosion (which may be the larger problem with electronics), less toxins in electronics (and e-waste, if not properly disposed of) is certainly a good thing. Read more at ::Computer World, ::Ars Technica and ::PC World

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