AMD chips get greener ahead of schedule

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AMD has complied with upcoming global environmentally-friendly microprocessor regulations for vendors one year ahead of deadline.

AMD has complied with upcoming global environmentally-friendly microprocessor regulations for vendors one year ahead of deadline.

Michael Apthorpe, technical manager at AMD Australia and New Zealand, said the chipmaker had achieved compliance with new European Union (EU) regulations around hazardous waste that didn't take effect until July 2006.

"In our processors, there isn't any physical lead [for instance], but there is lead in the solder," he said. "The solder now has no more than 0.001 percent lead."

AMD had lowered the content of heavy metals, including cadmium, lead and mercury, in its Opteron, Athlon, Sempron and Turion microprocessors to comply with the EU's upcoming Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) laws.

"Plus, some of our chipsets comply as well," Apthorpe said.

That included the AMD-8111, AMD-8131, AMD-8132 and AMD-8151 chipsets, according to a company statement.

Apthorpe said the "greener" processors became available to AMD customers worldwide 11 July.

"Basically, they're trying to reduce any heavy metals going back into the environment," Apthorpe said.

He said AMD's next step in environmental friendliness was to educate the channel. Resellers needed to become more cognizant of ways to minimise environmental harm done by the IT industry.

"We're talking not only about reduction in manufacturing, but responsible recycling and disposing of products as well," he said.

Apthorpe said AMD had a team of people developing products that would be completely free of heavy metals. The company would also be introducing partner initiatives and talk more about the issues at an upcoming reseller roadshow.

A spokesman for main rival Intel said Intel had also been working on many "lead-free" initiatives. When asked by CRN, however, he could not provide a clear answer on how far Intel complied with next year's RoHS laws specifically.

He did confirm that Intel had "a variety of lead-free products" that complied with EU regulations.

Intel had been proactive in clean-ups, education initiatives, park renovations and recycling programs around the world.

"In addition, Intel has certified all its manufacturing sites to ISO 1400, an international standard for high-quality environmental management," he said.

Disposal of heavy metals used in the IT industry comes under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government's Hazardous Waste Act 1989 and its subsequent amendments, which regulate the safe disposal of such waste in Australia and abroad as per Australia's obligations under the international Basel Convention.

For the decade ending 2010, Basel Convention signatories are obliged to start focusing on the minimising of hazardous waste generation, as well as disposal.


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