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

Simplicity is key to co-operative robots

2 hours ago

A way of making hundreds—or even thousands—of tiny robots cluster to carry out tasks without using any memory or processing power has been developed by engineers at the University of Sheffield, UK.

Freight train industry to miss safety deadline

2 hours ago

The U.S. freight railroad industry says only one-fifth of its track will be equipped with mandatory safety technology to prevent most collisions and derailments by the deadline set by Congress.

IBM posts lower 1Q earnings amid hardware slump

3 hours ago

IBM's first-quarter earnings fell and revenue came in below Wall Street's expectations amid an ongoing decline in its hardware business, one that was exasperated by weaker demand in China and emerging markets.

Microsoft CEO is driving data-culture mindset

4 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Microsoft's future strategy: is all about leveraging data, from different sources, coming together using one cohesive Microsoft architecture. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Tuesday, both in ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Simplicity is key to co-operative robots

A way of making hundreds—or even thousands—of tiny robots cluster to carry out tasks without using any memory or processing power has been developed by engineers at the University of Sheffield, UK.

Microsoft CEO is driving data-culture mindset

(Phys.org) —Microsoft's future strategy: is all about leveraging data, from different sources, coming together using one cohesive Microsoft architecture. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on Tuesday, both in ...

IBM posts lower 1Q earnings amid hardware slump

IBM's first-quarter earnings fell and revenue came in below Wall Street's expectations amid an ongoing decline in its hardware business, one that was exasperated by weaker demand in China and emerging markets.

Down's chromosome cause genome-wide disruption

The extra copy of Chromosome 21 that causes Down's syndrome throws a spanner into the workings of all the other chromosomes as well, said a study published Wednesday that surprised its authors.