Intel says its processors are now 'conflict-free'

Jan 07, 2014 by Peter Svensson
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich talks about materials used to make Intel microprocessors during a keynote address at the International Consumer Electronics Show, Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Intel Corp., the world's largest maker of computer processors, says its processors are now free of minerals from mines held by armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

It's the first major U.S. technology company to make such a claim about its products. It's the fruit of four years of work by the company to determine the sources of four crucial metals widely used in electronics manufacturing: tantalum, tungsten, tin and gold.

Eastern Congo is rich in minerals, and economic activity other than mining has been disrupted by nearly two decades of fighting between the government, rogue soldiers and different ethnic groups. There's been widespread concern that foreign purchases of minerals from mines held by armed groups are fueling the conflict, though many experts say the minerals are not the root cause of the fighting.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich made the announcement Monday in a keynote speech ahead of the opening of the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

A U.S. law passed in 2010 requires U.S. public companies to report whether their products contain minerals from rebel-held mines in Congo. Compliance is difficult for many electronics manufacturers, since a single product like a cellphone can contain components from hundreds or thousands of suppliers. Intel relies on relatively few suppliers for its chips.

There's been concern that the law has amounted to a de facto embargo on minerals exports from an area with millions of people living at a subsistence level. Carolyn Duran, manager of Intel's "conflict minerals" program said that Intel still buys minerals from the region, as long as it's comfortable the mines are in good hands.

"We are not intending to leave the region behind," Duran said.

Explore further: Intel takes leap into wearable computing

1 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Intel, Apple praised for clean mineral efforts

Aug 16, 2012

(AP) — Apple, Hewlett-Packard and Intel have become "pioneers of progress" through their efforts to avoid purchasing minerals that fund armed groups in Central Africa, an advocacy group said Thursday.

Gadget makers forced to look at links to Congo war

Jul 24, 2010

(AP) -- Does that smart phone in your pocket contribute to rape and murder in the depths of Africa? Soon, you'll know: A new U.S. law requires companies to certify whether their products contain minerals from rebel-controlled ...

Intel takes leap into wearable computing

Jan 07, 2014

Computer chip giant Intel unveiled a major new push Monday into wearables and connecting everyday devices as it seeks to leapfrog the competition in mobile computing.

Conflict minerals disclosure would hurt stock value

Aug 21, 2012

(Phys.org) -- Proposed federal rules that would require companies to disclose their use of “conflict minerals” — those mined in the Republic of Congo and neighboring countries and linked to armed conflict and ...

Recommended for you

Microsoft unveils Xbox in China as it faces probe

4 minutes ago

Microsoft on Wednesday unveiled its Xbox game console in China, the first to enter the market after an official ban 14 years ago, even as it faces a Chinese government probe over business practices.

Teens love vacation selfies; adults, not so much

43 minutes ago

(AP)—Jacquie Whitt's trip to the Galapagos with a group of teenagers was memorable not just for the scenery and wildlife, but also for the way the kids preserved their memories. It was, said Whitt, a "selfie ...

Tiny UAVs and hummingbirds are put to test

1 hour ago

Hummingbirds in nature exhibit expert engineering skills, the only birds capable of sustained hovering. A team from the US, British Columbia, and the Netherlands have completed tests to learn more about the ...

US spy agency patents car seat for kids

3 hours ago

Electronic eavesdropping is the National Security Agency's forte, but it seems it also has a special interest in children's car seats, Foreign Policy magazine reported Wednesday.

User comments : 0