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

By on May 18, 2012, 1:30 PM

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.




User Comments: 10

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MilwaukeeMike said:

Without knowing if 'going green' is saving them money or costing them money we'll never know if this is a noble thing or just a PR stunt.

Increasing efficiency is an environmental goal? yeah... and it just happens to give laptops and phones (there is one now) better battery life. No one buys a laptop cause it uses less electricity to charge the battery. Who are they kidding?

EEatGDL said:

<p>Increasing efficiency is an environmental goal? yeah... and it just happens to give laptops and phones (there is one now) better battery life. No one buys a laptop cause it uses less electricity to charge the battery. Who are they kidding?</p>

How can you be so mind-narrowed? Of course increasing effiency is an environmental goal, if you can use your battery for 8 hours before charging it again for let's say 4 hours per charge, in 24 hours of battery-based use it would have spent 8 hours connected (8 hours, charge, 8 hours, charge, 8 hours); instead of an autonomy of 3-4 hours were for using it with battery for achieving the same 24 hours you would have spend in the second case with the same battery up to 20 hours plugged-in (4 H, CH, 4 H, CH, 4 H, CH, 4 H, CH, 4 H, CH, 4 H).

Battery improvements is totally out of the hands of processor manufacturers, battery R&D must be done by the corresponding battery manufacturers, scientists or engineers interested in improving batteries.

Is like for example the case of the first Bluetooth improvements: "Technically, version 2.0 devices have a higher power consumption, but the three times faster rate reduces the transmission times, effectively reducing power consumption to half that of 1.x devices (assuming equal traffic load)."

Even if you're using your notebook plugged-in with a more efficient processor you'll be able to do the same tasks or more drawing less energy from the outlet. That's why people pays less money in electricity when illumination, computers, TVs, fridge, etc. draw less power.

Guest said:

"There are also plans to build new facilities in Arizona, Costa Rica, China, Israel and Malaysia"

how is that conflict free lol

yRaz yRaz said:

<p>Without knowing if 'going green' is saving them money or costing them money we'll never know if this is a noble thing or just a PR stunt. </p>

<p><br /></p>

<p>Increasing efficiency is an environmental goal? yeah... and it just happens to give laptops and phones (there is one now) better battery life. No one buys a laptop cause it uses less electricity to charge the battery. Who are they kidding?</p>

I don't think they are kidding anyone at all. It isn't about one laptop, it's about everyone's. Sure it might not be a buying feature(less power to charge a battery), but if they do it over hundreds of thousands of devices it has a real impact. Maybe it isn't a key feature, but it is there so people don't have to think about it. I'm an AMD guy, btw.

Costing them money? Sure it is, but that's not really the point. Businesses shouldn't always go for the lowest cost of anything. I'll use this example. I was fixing my sink awhile back, we had an old faucet that needed replaced. It was made entirely of stainless steel and brass. We went to the store and everything was made of plastic. We had to go to $240 to find something that had an all metal case. The pipes were still plastic. So why is everything made of plastic? Someone wanted to save money. Intel wanted to save money, what happened is they helped fund a war. I don't want a plastic sink and I don't want to fund a war. While this may be a PR stunt and costing them tons of money, it's not always about making something as cheaply as possible. It's just the right thing to do, something not many people care about anymore.

Ranger12 Ranger12 said:

Actually, your more expensive sink may have been cheaper over the life of it as you would probably replace a plastic sink more often. Up front costs are not good indicators of which is more expensive. As for the article, I have no doubt they are concerned first and foremost about profit. Intel is a business and it answers to the shareholders and their investments in Intel. You won't find saving the environment anywhere in their business plan. Now if they find customers respond positively to green initiatives then they will incorporate those. But they don't exist to conserve natural resources.

Guest said:

Here I thought it was going to be a story about a new cpu that is immune to Windows conflicts and bsod's.

MilwaukeeMike said:

<p>Actually, your more expensive sink may have been cheaper over the life of it as you would probably replace a plastic sink more often. Up front costs are not good indicators of which is more expensive. As for the article, I have no doubt they are concerned first and foremost about profit. Intel is a business and it answers to the shareholders and their investments in Intel. You won't find saving the environment anywhere in their business plan. Now if they find customers respond positively to green initiatives then they will incorporate those. But they don't exist to conserve natural resources.</p>

Exactly this. And when a company does something like promotes battery life (or solar panels like Apple) it's marketing. Bill Gates said it best when he called solar power 'cute'.

fish4specs said:

<p>Here I thought it was going to be a story about a new cpu that is immune to Windows conflicts and bsod's.</p>

What I thought. Read headline and thought they rewrote instructions sets to eliminate resource conflicts.

diego713 diego713 said:

Congratulations Intel! Please stay commented to all such endeavors. Once again you are a leader rather than a follower!

Tabbywabby Tabbywabby said:

Wow... While these countries may not be as developed as the United States they are still countries that are not using the profits of mineral extraction to fuel ethnic disputes that end in ethnic cleansing. This is the definition of a conflict free mineral, where the sale of which is not used to fuel rebellions or wars. Think of these minerals like blood diamonds, and how people are against their use. It is the same thing just with minerals.

While this way be a PR stunt from Intel it is in fact a glorious and honorable attempt to make the world a better place. I wish every company had such honorable intents.

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