'Nearly all Intel chips will be conflict mineral free from 2016'

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
13 September 2014

Chip maker Intel has said “nearly all” its products will be free of conflict minerals from 2016.

Armin Sarstedt, vice president in the technology and manufacturing group at Intel, told a conference the company had a “passion for sustainability”.

“We are one of the frontrunners in sustainability,” he said. “From 2016 onwards nearly all our products will be conflict mineral free.

“We have put this into our sourcing strategy, this passion for sustainability. If a company does not buy into this, they won’t be a supplier for Intel.”

Speaking at the Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference in London, Sarstedt said Intel, which has annual revenues of $50 billion (£30.8 billion), manufactured at 34 sites, including internal and outsourced facilities, across 15 countries. He said the company dealt with huge orders, with some including one million pieces.

Sarstedt, who is also director of foundry and outsourced semiconductor assembly and test management at Intel, said it took two to four months to build a computer chip but the products they went in, such as phones and tablets, had a life cycle of six to nine months because they are “fashion driven”. “The life cycle is very short,” he said.

He said the future would involve further convergence between computing and mobile technology. “Computing will be mobile and mobile will be computing,” he said.

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