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Intel says NO MORE BLOOD PENTIUMS by 2016

Chipzilla plots roadmap for conflict-free metals policy

Miner sculpture

Intel has set 2016 as the deadline for its transition to a 100 per cent conflict-free product line.

Under the plan, Chipzilla will look to receive gold, tantalum, tungsten, and tin only from those smelting facilities that it has certified as taking materials exclusively from ethically-mined sources.

The company unveiled the plan back in January when it released a line of processors that used certified conflict-free materials. Its aim is to help end forced labor in the conflict-stricken parts of the globe – which, coincidentally, also produce many of the metals essential for electronics.

"Since January, we have not slowed down – nor have many of our industry partners," wrote Intel supply chain director and conflict-free program manager Carolyn Duran. "We continue our global travels to smelters in our supply chain – and our Intel team has visited 88 smelters in 21 countries."

The company now hopes that within two years it will be able to certify all of its smelters as conflict-free.

Intel is not alone in looking to wipe out the forced mining of materials in war-torn regions. Apple recently announced its own plans to switch over to conflict-free suppliers for its metal components.

Governments, too, are looking at ways to convince companies to seek ethically-mined materials. Earlier this year, the EU port forth plans for a program that would encourage firms to check and certify the sources of their metals.

While Chipzilla has thrown its backing behind the EU plan, rights groups have criticized the effort as not going far enough in pushing companies to account for where their metals are sourced. ®

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