New European environmental regulations mean that non-exempt products (in this case, microprocessors) must contain less than 0.1 percent of lead, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) and polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDE) and less than 0.01 percent of chromium. AMD has just announced that it has successfully removed lead
from its microprocessors in order to conform to these requirements.
AMD said that in early July it began selling versions of its Opteron, Athlon 64, Athlon 64 X2, Athlon 64 FX, Sempron, and Turion processor families that meet the lead-free RoHS regulations, about a year before they go into effect. Several chipsets, including the AMD-8111, AMD-8131, AMD-8132 and AMD-8151, also meet the EU restrictions.
However, don't make the mistake of thinking that AMD's microprocessors are completely lead free - they still use lead as a solder material inside their solder bumps connecting them to the printed circuit board. However, AMD is seeking to get an exemption on this. The use of lead in solder has already been exempted in servers and in telecommunications equipment.