Intel says its processors are now 'conflict-free'

January 7, 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, Apple praised for clean mineral efforts

Related Stories

Intel, Apple praised for clean mineral efforts

August 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

July 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

January 7, 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

August 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

'Droneboarding' takes off in Latvia

January 22, 2017

Skirted on all sides by snow-clad pine forests, Latvia's remote Lake Ninieris would be the perfect picture of winter tranquility—were it not for the huge drone buzzing like a swarm of angry bees as it zooms above the solid ...

Singapore 2G switchoff highlights digital divide

January 22, 2017

When Singapore pulls the plug on its 2G mobile phone network this year, thousands of people could be stuck without a signal—digital have-nots left behind by the relentless march of technology.

Making AI systems that see the world as humans do

January 19, 2017

A Northwestern University team developed a new computational model that performs at human levels on a standard intelligence test. This work is an important step toward making artificial intelligence systems that see and understand ...

Firms push hydrogen as top green energy source

January 18, 2017

Over a dozen leading European and Asian firms have teamed up to promote the use of hydrogen as a clean fuel and cut the production of harmful gasses that lead to global warming.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.