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Intel promises conflict-free chip by 2013

Intel promises conflict-free chip by 2013

Intel promises to have at least one processor provably free from conflict minerals by 2013.

Intel has given itself a timescale for phasing out the use of 'conflict minerals' in its processors, promising to have at least one saintly CPU available by next year.

Modern electronics make use of a variety of relatively rare or precious minerals. Significant quantities of these minerals are located in countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the Foreign and Commonwealth Office claims their illegal export represents a significant source of finances for armed groups.

It is claimed that the DRC holds around 80 per cent of the world's supply of columbite-tantalite (coltan,) the raw mineral from which tantalum is extracted for use in capacitors and other electronic components. The DRC also holds some 49 per cent of the world's cobalt and 10 per cent of its copper, along with significant volumes of raw tin ore (cassiterite) and wolframite, from which tungsten is extracted.

The FCO claims that these minerals are largely mined by artisinal miners working unofficially for non-state armed groups including the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and rogue brigades within the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC.) These groups, it is claimed, use the subsistence miners as near-slave labour in order to fund arms deals.

In recent years, these conflict minerals - defined in recent US legislation as cassiterite, coltan, wolframite and gold plus their various derivatives - have been brought to the attention of the public, leaving electronics companies eager to be seen as doing something to address the issue.

As part of its latest Corporate Responsibility Report, Intel announced that it would be working towards the goal of having at least one processor manufactured using only validated conflict-free minerals by 2013. According to Intel, it will be the first company to provably produce a chip with no conflict minerals present in its construction.

The company's march to conflict-free components began last year, when Intel identified 98 smelter sites where the raw ores are processed and visited 48 of them across 16 countries to lay the groundwork for third-party audits. These audits, Intel hopes, will demonstrate that Intel's sources of tantalum are conflict-free by the end of the year and lead to conflict-free certification across all four minerals for at least one processor next year.

Intel's report comes as increasing quantities of consumers are becoming aware of the true cost of cheap, ubiquitous electronics. In the same report, the company promised to work on reducing its energy consumption by 1.4 billion kilowatt-hours by 2015, reduce water usage measured per chip manufactured to below 2010 levels by 2020, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 10 per cent from 2010 levels by 2020, and achieve zero chemical waste to landfill in the same timescale.

'At Intel, corporate responsibility is a crucial component to the overall growth of our business,' claimed Michael Jacobson, Intel's director of corporate responsibility, of the report. 'From product to customer to employee to environment, corporate responsibility allows Intel to have a greater and more influential impact on industries, communities and the global economy.'

Intel has also pledged to help consumers do their bit of the environment, with a target of increasing the energy efficiency of its notebook and data centre products by 25 times by 2020 - a noble goal which, if successful, could pave the way for laptops which last an entire working week on a single charge.

21 Comments

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lp1988 18th May 2012, 12:17 Quote
Good on you Intel, nice to see some of the big guys jump on the CSR wagon.

Has anyone else noticed that any organisation or country boasting "democratic" or other such words in their name are usually the opposite ?

Peoples republic of China, Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, and so on.
ChaosDefinesOrder 18th May 2012, 13:42 Quote
and to combine them together, the full name for North Korea: "Democratic People's Republic of Korea"
Ljs 18th May 2012, 14:41 Quote
+Rep to Intel.
Anneon 18th May 2012, 14:41 Quote
Would love to believe this would make one hydrogen atom in the world's oceans of a difference. All the more for apple I guess.
B1GBUD 18th May 2012, 14:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anneon
Would love to believe this would make one hydrogen atom in the world's oceans of a difference. All the more for apple I guess.

Err.... Apple hardware has had Intel Inside for some time now.
mclean007 18th May 2012, 15:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lp1988
Has anyone else noticed that any organisation or country boasting "democratic" or other such words in their name are usually the opposite ?
Yes! So true. In additional to the PRC, DRC and the "Democratic People's Republic of Korea", my personal "favourites" are:

* Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya;
* Lao People's Democratic Republic; and
* Socialist Republic of Vietnam
steveo_mcg 18th May 2012, 16:00 Quote
There is also the correlation between images of the leader of a country and the freedoms (not) enjoyed by the residents of said country.
schmidtbag 18th May 2012, 16:19 Quote
oh so intel actually does have feelings for other people after all.
mdshann 18th May 2012, 16:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by B1GBUD
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anneon
Would love to believe this would make one hydrogen atom in the world's oceans of a difference. All the more for apple I guess.

Err.... Apple hardware has had Intel Inside for some time now.

Err... Apple doesn't use only Intel chips. iPod/iPad for example are not Intel.
Blarte 18th May 2012, 16:31 Quote
all my pc buys have conflict parts... Conflict of Money vs Requirents ..conflict of Car vs Computer ...
Intel I am so looking forward to you curing this for me :) .. (psssst donation xeon's in SR-X would be a lovely cure thanks)
Gradius 18th May 2012, 16:44 Quote
They should had do this at least 10 years ago. Mining is the worst thing you can ever do to Earth.
B1GBUD 18th May 2012, 17:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdshann
Quote:
Originally Posted by B1GBUD
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anneon
Would love to believe this would make one hydrogen atom in the world's oceans of a difference. All the more for apple I guess.

Err.... Apple hardware has had Intel Inside for some time now.

Err... Apple doesn't use only Intel chips. iPod/iPad for example are not Intel.

Err.... I am aware of that, but we're taking about Intel / Apple.... no mention of ARM..... d'oh
SighMoan 18th May 2012, 20:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Article
reduce water usage measured per chip manufactured to below 2010 levels by 2020.

It's going to take 8 years to go back 2. Wow.
Elton 18th May 2012, 21:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SighMoan
It's going to take 8 years to go back 2. Wow.

With increased demand, it makes sense.
Speed 18th May 2012, 21:27 Quote
This issue is often overlooked, so I'm glad that one of the major companies is finally doing something about it.
Nexxo 18th May 2012, 21:48 Quote
Cool. Now let's buy oil only from democratic countries!

Er...
lp1988 18th May 2012, 23:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Cool. Now let's buy oil only from democratic countries!

Er...

yea lets totally do that, no one bys from any country whom are in conflict with the human rights convention.....

/moving to Canada
azrael- 18th May 2012, 23:53 Quote
Conflict-free chips... Would that solve the IRQ sharing problem? ;)
fluxtatic 19th May 2012, 04:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gradius
They should had do this at least 10 years ago. Mining is the worst thing you can ever do to Earth.

Mining isn't the point. It's going to be mined no matter where it comes from. The point is for that money to not be used to buy AKs that are then put in the hands of 9-year-olds.

On a note related to "Democratic" - "Family" is the same way. A group with "Family" in their name means that by 'family', they mean a hetero couple with 2 kids and a dog, and any other definition is a god-insulting, freedom-hating, socialist plot to destroy 'Murica (at least, here in the States it is.) Divorce is totally fine, though, because you can't help it if you married a total bitch, right? Divorce doesn't destroy the sanctity of marriage, gay people do.
magicpixel 20th May 2012, 07:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by azrael-
Conflict-free chips... Would that solve the IRQ sharing problem? ;)
LOL
+rep to you sir!
And to Intel, nice move.
Landy_Ed 20th May 2012, 20:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Cool. Now let's buy oil only from democratic countries!

Er...

Norway & Scotland not count as democratic?
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