Intel sets timeline to develop world's first conflict-free processor

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Intel is preparing to produce the world’s first conflict-free processor by the end of 2013. The revelation comes as part of the company’s recently-released Corporate Responsibility Report 2011 that outlines a number of green efforts though 2020.

Conflict materials are those that are mined in regions that contain armed conflicts or human rights issues – a good example of this is the Democratic Republic of the Congo. According to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, money earned from the export of minerals from conflict regions is a solid source of funding for armed groups. As you can imagine, this isn’t exactly good PR for tech companies.

Intel has declared intentions to become conflict-free across four key minerals: gold, tantalum, tin and tungsten by the end of 2013. In fact, the company plans to achieve the tantalum goal by the end of this year. This essentially means that next-generation microarchitecture Haswell processors could be the first ever to contain conflict-free materials.

Other environmental goals include a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and water use per processor manufactured as well as increasing the efficiency of data centers and notebook computers by 25 times through 2020.

There are also plans to build new facilities in Arizona, Costa Rica, China, Israel and Malaysia that would meet LEED Silver Certification in addition to an energy-saving plan that would reduce power consumption by 1.4 billion kWh through 2015. Chipzilla hopes to achieve zero chemical waste to landfill by 2020.

Those interested in learning more about Intel’s environmental goals can check out the full report here.

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