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VIA Announces Lead-Free Motherboard

CowboyNeal posted more than 10 years ago | from the earth-day-special dept.

Hardware 347

linuxprox writes "VIA announced today that their AS-1210 motherboard will be the world's first lead-free motherboard. 'The transition to 'green' manufacturing for VIA has been very smooth and we have been able to ship lead-free processors and chipsets since the end of last year,' said Richard Brown, Vice President of Marketing, VIA Technologies, Inc. 'The AS-1210 clearly demonstrates the technology leadership of VIA and Yamashita in being the first to market with a lead-free motherboard that meets the requirements of the international market.'"

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more to read (5, Informative)

tedtimmons (97599) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944514)

I was trying to figure out what the lead was used for (traces, solder, and capacitors was my best bet). The following link from Intel is a press release, but contains a good overview of lead use:
http://www.intel.com/pressroom/archive/releases/20 040407tech.htm [intel.com]

And more from Intel:
http://www.intel.com/research/silicon/leadfree.htm [intel.com]

And more information from AMD:
http://www.amd.com/us-en/Processors/TechnicalResou rces/0,,30_182_4040,00.html [amd.com]

Disclosure: I don't work for, or own stock in AMD or Intel. I haven't purchased an Intel chip since the Pentium came out.

-ted

John "Eff-ing" Kerry (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8944537)

The military records that Sen. John Kerry posted on his Web site yesterday raise new questions about the actions he took to earn several prestigious war medals and whether he deserved them.
The Navy awarded Mr. Kerry three Purple Hearts, a Silver Star and a Bronze Star in just four months of commanding a gunboat along rivers in Vietnam. It's an extraordinary record, say many veterans, and one that raises questions on its face.

For example, those military records do not show Mr. Kerry ever missing a day of duty for injuries, there is conflict between some of the accounts and Mr. Kerry's presidential campaign still refuses to release some records.
"The idea that John Kerry would have put in for three Purple Hearts during only four months in country is just ridiculous," said Mel Howell from Evansville, Ind., a retired Navy officer who flew helicopters in Vietnam. "Most of us came away with all kinds of scratches like the ones Kerry got but never accepted Purple Hearts for them."
Upon inspection of the government documents posted on the Massachusetts Democrat's Web site, other questions arise such as the conflicting descriptions in official records of the injuries Mr. Kerry sustained on March 13, 1969. It was the commendations he earned that day -- a Bronze Star and a third Purple Heart -- that let Mr. Kerry request a transfer out of Vietnam and into a desk job eight months before his tour expired.
The Personnel Casualty Report from that day says Mr. Kerry "suffered shrapnel wounds in his left buttocks and contusions on his right forearm when a mine detonated close aboard" his boat.
But the citation for the Bronze Star that he was awarded for the same action described "his arm bleeding and in pain," saying nothing about arm bruises or shrapnel wounds anywhere.
"I don't want to say it's a lie, but it isn't true," said Charles Kaufman, a retired Air Force captain whose job once was to submit military award requests.
"His Bronze Star medal citation appears to be based on an injury he did not receive," said Mr. Kaufman, who now lives in Germany. "His arm was not bleeding. If the paperwork had said, 'Kerry had a bruised arm,' I wonder if he would have been given this medal for bravery?"
"They don't quite jibe," said James W. Doran, national service director of the advocacy group American Veterans. But he did not fault Mr. Kerry.
"Somebody up the command flowered it up," Mr. Doran said. "They just made it pretty for somebody's signature."
Several requests for comment were not returned by the Kerry campaign yesterday.
During Mr. Kerry's relatively short tour in Vietnam, he racked up a stunning record, based on the documents released by the campaign yesterday.
All of his performance evaluations rated him first or nearly first among his peers, and no evidence suggests he ever missed duty because of illness or injuries. He was credited with killing 20 enemy fighters.
"Intelligent, mature and rich in educational background and experience, Ens Kerry is one of the finest young officers I have ever met and without question one of the most promising," wrote Capt. Allen Slifer, Mr. Kerry's commanding superior aboard the USS Gridley before going into combat.
But some veterans say his record is too good to be true.
"Superhuman" is how Ray Waller, a combat medic in the Marines, described Mr. Kerry's record of awards.
"I don't remember anybody getting three Purple Hearts and leaving, even within six or eight months," said Mr. Waller, who as a medic was responsible for determining whether injuries warranted Purple Hearts. "And if they did, it was very, very rare -- not to mention the Silver Star and the Bronze Star."
He also was surprised that Mr. Kerry never missed duty for the wounds that earned him Purple Hearts. Although Mr. Kerry has said one of the injuries caused him to lose two days of service, there is no evidence he ever lost time for any injuries.
"If he's got shrapnel in his buttocks, he's going to lose time," Mr. Waller said. "It would be impossible to have three wounds and never have a loss of time."
Though the campaign released more than 120 pages of Navy records yesterday, Mr. Kerry still refused to release medical records that more thoroughly describe the injuries.
Among the records that the campaign will not release is any explanation for the injuries that led to Mr. Kerry's first Purple Heart, less than a month after going into combat.
Although the campaign won't release one document, called a "Sick Call Treatment Record," officials allowed the Associated Press to view it earlier this week. It said: "Shrapnel in left arm above elbow. Shrapnel removed and appl[ied] bacitracin dressing. Ret[urned] to duty."
"If it only required bacitracin and a Band-Aid, it sounds like a piece of hot shrapnel that was flying around and may not have even broken the skin," said Mr. Waller, adding that he'd never heard of a shrapnel injury that didn't require a tetanus shot and time off leading to a Purple Heart.
It was Mr. Kerry's first injury that already is the source of serious questions raised by his commanding officer at the time, Grant Hibbard.
Mr. Hibbard declined requests yesterday to be interviewed by The Washington Times, but he told the Boston Globe that Mr. Kerry's injuries were too minor to qualify for a Purple Heart.
"He had a little scratch on his forearm, and he was holding a piece of shrapnel," Mr. Hibbard said. "People in the office were saying, 'I don't think we got any fire,' and there is a guy holding a little piece of shrapnel in his palm."
But Mr. Kerry persisted and, to his own "chagrin," Mr. Hibbard told the Globe, he dropped the matter.
"I do remember some questions, some correspondence about it," Mr. Hibbard said. "I finally said, 'OK, if that's what happened ... do whatever you want.' After that, I don't know what happened. Obviously, he got it, I don't know how."
One possible reason why Mr. Kerry racked up so many battle awards in such a short period of time might be the command structure. Because awards are generally recommended by superiors, Mr. Kerry's bosses would have relied on accounts of the action from Mr. Kerry and his underling crew mates.
And because injuries warranting Purple Hearts are verified by medics -- or corpsmen -- it would have been a soldier inferior to Mr. Kerry who was in charge of determining the seriousness of his injuries.
"If the commander walks up to the corpsman and says, 'I'm wounded,' " said Mr. Waller, "his corpsman isn't going to say it's just a scratch, he's going to say 'OK.' "

Re:John "Eff-ing" Kerry (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8944777)

It's an extraordinary record, say many veterans

Yup, it is. So shut up, stuffed crotch flight suit fanboy.

PC has met motherboards (0, Troll)

mj2k (726937) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944737)

political correctness has met the IT sector once again. For gosh sakes, what's the problem? I don't plan to eat my motherboard - you might argue "it's thrown away one day", but some miniscule trace of lead found in the solder isn't going to hurt anything - more goes into the environment when i lose a sinker fishing than when I throw away a dozen motherboards.

Dammit.. foiled.. (5, Funny)

brxndxn (461473) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944518)

All my plans of turning worthless motherboards into precious pencils has failed!!

Graphite... (2, Insightful)

Thinkit4 (745166) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944569)

...is in pencils--a form of carbon. Won't get that past here.

Re:Graphite... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8944794)

Man, you're so fucking intelligent. Everyone knows it already. Now please stfu.

Re:Dammit.. foiled.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8944576)

Yep. I know you're joking but just pointing out to everybody else that it's graphite in pencil lead :)

Re:Dammit.. foiled.. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8944598)

Yes, but it USED to be lead in pencil lead. Just because pencils use graphic, doesn't mean you can't make a lead pencil. Unfortunately, with lead pencils, you have to lick the lead before you use it, and consequently you may very well get lead poisoning. But such is life.

Re:Dammit.. foiled.. (1)

AvantLegion (595806) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944726)

That's how we used to weed out the weak kids.

Now we baby them so much that the sissies make it to adulthood, mate with other sissies, and spawn yet more sissies.

Re:Dammit.. foiled.. (2, Funny)

Mateito (746185) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944787)

> Now we baby them so much that the sissies make it to adulthood,
> mate with other sissies, and spawn yet more sissies.

And without them, we wouldn't have Slashdot.

Re:Dammit.. foiled.. (1)

EpsCylonB (307640) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944615)

Not to be pedantic or anything but pencils use graphite, not lead.

Re:Dammit.. foiled.. (-1, Troll)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944671)

Not to be pedantic or anything but pencils use graphite, not lead.

YHBT
YHL
HAND

Re:Dammit.. foiled.. (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944799)

Hey, the joke is much funnier now that you've explained it. Thanks.

Re:Dammit.. foiled.. (1)

Spudley (171066) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944833)

Not to be pedantic or anything but pencils use graphite, not lead.

In this case, would that be pendantic? :)

Lead (5, Informative)

GaussianInteger (772028) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944716)

Actually, the earliest pencils WERE made from lead, until graphite was found to be a much better substititute. I wouldn't nitpick, but I think the above nitpicking gives me more than ample justification =). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lead

Re:Lead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8944816)

Thanks very much. Even if it wasn't ever used in pencils - I just hate these nitpicking wankers all the time even though it's soooo clear the OP was a joke.

Green Computing (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8944519)

VIA Green Computing page [via.com.tw]

It's too bad they don't do monitors. Those CRTs are the biggest source of lead in computers. Of course, I don't like electrons being shot at my face, so it's not all bad, but still. They are a pain to dispose of.

Cross your fingers for affordable OLEDs. (fp?)

Re:Green Computing (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8944619)

What are you talking about?

Just throw them in a dumpster.

Re:Green Computing (2, Interesting)

Halfbaked Plan (769830) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944773)

CRTs are a pain to dispose of?

I put two to four of them at a time out there and the trashman hauls them away. For our regular $15 per month trash pickup.

You probably just live in the wrong locality. I buy lots of used computers and scrap out a lot of stuff.

Green? (5, Funny)

Unnngh! (731758) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944521)

'The transition to 'green' manufacturing for VIA

Aren't most Printed Circuit Boards already green?

Ah, nevermind...

Re:Green? (1)

Steamhead (714353) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944567)

Not all, all PowerMacs from MDD + are blue.

Re:Green? (3, Informative)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944570)

Well, they make some red and blue ones that they sell to the people that put windows on the side of their towers.

I wish I was joking.

Woppee (-1, Flamebait)

z0ink (572154) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944522)

Now It costs me nothing to throw VIA's junk out!

VIA is reliable (0, Offtopic)

SquireCD (465008) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944524)

I've had a VIA board on an old i386 and it's never given me problems. Because of this I've bought nothing but VIA boards sine about 1996. I'm sure this board will live up to the VIA reputation.

Re:VIA is reliable (1, Interesting)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944601)

"I'm sure this board will live up to the VIA reputation."

VIAs reputation is poor at best. The last VIA board I owned (KT133) wouldn't post if you had a SCSI card and a PS/2 mouse hooked up at the same time. Search around on Google, most of the VIA chipsets are rife with problems.

Way to get the lead out! (1, Funny)

shakamojo (518620) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944536)

Ok, I know, it's not punny. Sorry.

Re:Way to get the lead out! (2)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944639)

"Ok, I know, it's not punny. Sorry."

You should be punnished for that. Still, at least it wasn't a pun about German sausages, eh? They're the wurst.

Hmm (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8944542)

...The replacement product, VIA explains, is enviromentally friendly... a irradiated liquified baby otter corpse.

Re:Hmm (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8944756)

I'm gonna kill a baby seal to give YOU a better deal!

New lead free motherboard... (5, Funny)

Amiga Lover (708890) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944543)

New lead free motherboard*

*Supply your own solder.

Oh lordy (3, Funny)

boomgopher (627124) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944549)

So I shouldn't have been eating my old motherboards all these years?

Please confirm my Slashdot friends! Woe is me...

Troll, WTF? (1)

boomgopher (627124) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944648)

Stupid, yes. But how exactly is that a troll?

Re:Troll, WTF? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8944672)

The mods are on crack. Oops! Now I'M gonna get flamed...

Whoopie! (5, Funny)

SCSi (17797) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944553)

Now I can let my toddler chew on motherboards without worrying about that pesky lead!
Thanks VIA!

A nice start, but... (5, Informative)

Mr. Darl McBride (704524) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944556)

This is really more of a touchy feel-good move than a substantive move in cutting back on the more dangerous parts of the motherboard.

This doesn't do a thing about the lethal levels of sheel negceba that go through most boards, not to mention the chemicals used in most non-paper capacitors, which are not only lethal poisons, but as tasty as anti-freeze to most animals.

Add to this the PCBs in the transformer that go with their power supply, and you've pretty much only addressed the fourth worst problem. The real problems have several orders of magnitude more impact on the environtment and worse -- solutions already exist to solve all three for prices only 5-10% higher than what they pay for existing chemicals!

Correct. (4, Insightful)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944607)

Just like how coal plants release more radition and heavy metals into the environment that nuclear plants. But which ones to the 'enviros' target the most, the nuke plants because it gets them more press.

Re:Correct. (2, Interesting)

ewhenn (647989) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944749)

When you state that "coal plants release more radition and heavy metals into the environment than nuclear plants", do you mean as a whole, or per output unit. Surely there are MANY more coal fired plants than nuclear plants thus it might be easier to surpass the gross output. What we REALLY should be concerned with is Units of heavy metals per KWH (kilo watt hr) produced.

Re:Correct. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8944779)

Per unit of electricity produced.

Re:Correct. (5, Informative)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944814)

Per KwH.

They also release a lot of heavy metals, so much so that warning about fish from lakes around most of the coal plants in East Texas have been issued due to their high levels of heavy metals.

Re:Correct. (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944761)

By that insane logic a glassful of cyanide is safer than a glassful of ocean water, because the ocean has more net cyanide in it than the glass does. What makes nuclear waste dangerous is it's concentration.

Re:Correct. (3, Insightful)

Shurhaian (743684) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944780)

Except that A) nuclear plants don't release massive amounts of heavy metals and greenhouse gases(not nearly so much as coal, for sure) and B) the fact that the waste can be(well, is) concentrated makes it easier to deal with than the same waste being vented into the atmosphere.

Re:Correct. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8944798)

Sigh. That isn't a good comparison and I beg to differ. But since you like that format:

"That's like saying a sealed container with cyanide concentrated inside is less safe than an aerosol mist of cyanide in the air."

Using random comparisons like that is useless because you can make them say anything.

Re:Correct. (1)

SquadBoy (167263) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944863)

No that is what makes it safe. To continue your analogy you can have all your cyanide in one place where it is easy to control and prevent others from getting or you can spread it all over every surface in your house. Which form would you rather have?

Re:A nice start, but... (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8944625)

Well, everybody knows what lead is and how bad it is.

Not everybody has rot13, so they don't know what sheel negceba is.

Sheel negceba?? (0, Troll)

bcore (705121) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944643)

You know you can't just make up words, right?

Re:Sheel negceba?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8944664)

rot13

Re:A nice start, but... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8944710)

I guess I'm not a true geek, I didn't feel like writing a rot13 script, so I did it by hand...did anybody else come up with "furry artpron"? That *sort* of makes sense...

Re:A nice start, but... (0, Troll)

Johnno74 (252399) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944796)

Yeah, I used a script, and came up with the same thing. "furry artpron"... WTF? /me is confused.

Re:A nice start, but... (1)

op51n (544058) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944862)

Furry Artpron making it's way through all these Mobo's... You see...
Took me a loooong while but I got there.

Well, that was a constructive waste of 20 minutes.

Re:A nice start, but... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8944745)

Paper capacitors and PCBs ? Geez, we're not talking about ENIAC's motherboard here. :-)

Capacitors on modern surface mount motherboards are either ceramic (aluminum oxide) with metal (silver, palladium, tin) layers or "dry" tantalum caps. The ones you're thinking of are probably the "wet" tantalum caps which were wetted with sulfuric acid, which is certainly unpleasant although I wouldn't call it a lethal poison.

You won't find any PCBs in the power supply transformer, either. Except in some very specialized high voltage applications, they've been banned for at least 20 years.

I have no idea what "sheel negceba" is.

Most of the lead in the environment comes from depleted lead-acid batteries, but there's no practical alternatives to those yet so tin-lead solder gets promoted to the top of the list.

The biggest concern with lead-free solders is the higher temperatures they require to make them melt. Since all of the components on the board are also subject to this higher temperature, there can be negative effects on reliability.

"Lead" (5, Funny)

TWX (665546) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944557)

For some reason I thought that all of the discrete components were going to be surface mount instead of through the board when I read that the board was "Lead free"...

its good to see... (0)

hellmarch (721948) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944573)

...something good come out of a VIA motherboard. the lead even though VIA sucks this is still a step in the right direction.

I had no idea this was a problem (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8944578)

Are youngsters prone to lick motherboards? Anyone know exactly what conductive 'green' substance keeps all the parts stuck together?

Re:I had no idea this was a problem (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8944623)

Mobos don't just suddenly dematerialise when you're through with them. Instead they sit in land fills and get rained on and leech lead into the groundwater.

Re:I had no idea this was a problem (1)

Mateito (746185) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944768)

> Mobos don't just suddenly dematerialise when you're through with them.

No, they evolve into Linux Routers and ... dare I mention it on slashdot... Beowulf cluster nodes.

Lead-Free Mobo's (2, Insightful)

Carlos Silva (773727) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944579)

Of course i didn't RTFA but .. are they too expensive? I fail to see the consumer advantage on this kind of thing.. maybe they'll do some kind of special ad campaign.. Marketing guys just love to be able to say thing like "We're environment friendly" :-)

Not the first lead free mobo? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8944584)

The Nec PowerMate eco computer, released in 2002 supposedly has lead free solder on the motherboard. To quote a press release, "The unit also contains a motherboard made with lead-free solder, which protects both the individuals involved in reclamation, and the ground water in case of disposal". I assume this means that there is no lead in the motherboard? Unless capacitors or other parts have lead?

No lead but... (4, Funny)

valkraider (611225) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944586)

50% more mercury...

:)

It's a joke people...

Green means.... (0, Troll)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944596)

...living in a thatched hut eating berries and grass. God forbid that you actually take part in synthetic meterials not of nature *gasp*

Death to Humans!! We are but a plague to mother earth!

Yes folks, this is the most extreme wacko impersonation of the green-peace movement I can come up with. But the sad thing about it, is these wackos exist in real life. Shocking...I know.

Some Quotes... (4, Informative)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944653)

"[T]he campaign of fear now being waged against genetic modification is based largely on fantasy
and a complete lack of respect for science and logic."
Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore.

"Solar power and windmills are not a realistic way out. Nuclear energy is the only real and practical solution, but there has been such a hysterical reaction to it."
James Lovelock, developer of the Gaia Hypothesis.

"Extreme weather events are definitely on the decline over the last 40 years."
Dr. Madhav Khandekar, a meteorologist with 25 years experience at Environment Canada.

"They have cheated the case and I am angry about that, because that will come to our account. They use bad data, as well as for the Brent Spar as for the French nuclear tests. I am against nuclear tests, but one should use scientific, sound arguments ... Greenpeace has harmed the environmental case."
Paul Crutzen, Nobel Prize winner for his work on the ozone layer, who cancelled his Greenpeace membership.

"In truth, what the environmental community has become is a money machine"
Alfred Runte, environmental historian, board member of the National Parks Conservation Association from 1993 to 1997 and author of Yosemite, The Embattled Wilderness.

"In 2000, say World Health Organization and other studies, malaria infected over 300 million people. It killed nearly 2,000,000 - most of them in sub-Saharan Africa.
[...]
"[these deaths] are due in large part to near-global restrictions on the production, export and use of DDT.
[...]
"Where DDT is used, malaria deaths plummet. "
Paul Driessen, author of Eco-Imperialism - Green Power. Black Death. - "A former member of the Sierra Club and Zero Population Growth, he abandoned their cause when he recognized that the environmental movement had become intolerant in its views, inflexible in its demands, unwilling to recognize our tremendous strides in protecting the environment, and insensitive to the needs of billions of people who lack the food, electricity, safe water, healthcare and other basic necessities that we take for granted."

"Greenpeace is lobbying against industry plans to exclude products such as DDT from a POPs [persistent organic pollutants] phase-out."
Greenpeace annual report, 1999)

Re:Some Quotes... (1)

pesc (147035) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944845)

That's an interesting collection of quotes about nuclear power and genetic engineering, but how does that relate to VIA reducing the amount of lead in motherboards?

Are you trying to say that we shouldn't care and dumping lead in our waste is OK?

Nice quotes... (3, Insightful)

Cryptnotic (154382) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944868)

However, it's too bad reasonable voices like these are being ignored. And organizations like Greenpeace, PETA, the Sierra Club are being taken over by crazies. The Sierra Club in particular used to be a club for hunters and outdoorsmen, but has turned into an eco-nazi propaganda organization.

I agree that DDT and nuclear power would do quite a lot of good for the world, by the way.

Re:Green means.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8944682)

There are plenty of those type of people around this place. PETA people who try to anthropomorphize creatures like fish are part of the same crowd, except the eco-nazis try to anthropomorphize a hunk of rock that we call earth. They're usually young kids who get indoctrinated by socialist professors at college.

Re:Green means.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8944819)

Nice troll, dick head. I hope you live next to a Superfund site someday.

Pay a premium for the board (0, Offtopic)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944599)

Read all about [chemicalin...chives.org] the way that Monsanto decimated an entire area with PCBs, maiming entire generations of people. Some quite horrifically. Get your water tested for lead levels. It makes the Erin Brockovich story look like a day at the carnival.

Help out, be green. Pay a few extra bucks for a green mobo. Pay 25% more. Lead products in landfills do amazingly nasty things to water supplies.

Re:Pay a premium for the board (2, Interesting)

BillyBlaze (746775) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944709)

In that article, PCBs refers to polychlorinated biphenyls, a poison, not printed circuit boards. I'm not aware of any connection between the two.

you insensitive clod, (5, Funny)

pangloss (25315) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944602)

my pre-1963 computer only takes leaded!

What they don't tell you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8944604)

Is their replacement for lead is made from baby seal spinal cords.

Re:What they don't tell you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8944728)

Nope, it's an amalgam of giraffe Adam's apple and panda claws...

Re:What they don't tell you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8944775)

Is their replacement for lead is made from baby seal spinal cords.

A non-polluting, bio-degradable, renewable resource. Excellent!

How much before? (1)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944610)

I find a lot of environmentally friendly announcements get filed in my "so what?" category.

Compared with negatives like chopping down rainforests, and people driving 4l SUVs to go and pick up the shopping, how much of a + is this?

Re:How much before? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8944640)

and people driving 4l SUVs to go and pick up the shopping

My SUV is 5.6l you insensative clod!

Re:How much before? (2, Insightful)

sugar and acid (88555) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944763)

Lead is on of the problems in many landfill sites with contamination of ground water, and also increasing the cost of reuse of the land after the dump has stopped operating, as inevitable some lead has found its way there, the old common culprit being car batteries and the like.

Computers and other electrical goods are a lesser but probably more common concern these days as it makes up a large volume of waste, I think most people know to dispose of car batteries and other things with large amounts of lead and other heavy metals properly now or at least the shop that changed it does and the high concentration of lead makes extraction and recycling practical.

Re:How much before? (1)

Tribbin (565963) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944841)

I can understand using lead-free fuel is rendable.

The Earth became covered in a thin layer of lead, and lead is toxic to many living things (including humans).

But don't you think the amount of lead in a motherboard is nihil?

No leads? (5, Funny)

pyrrhonist (701154) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944616)

How do you connect peripherals? Oh wait...

Man... (0, Redundant)

Carlos Silva (773727) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944627)

Get the lead out! Bad joke, i know :)

Re:Man... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8944832)

Another bad joke: the guy's name is Richard Brown.

Dick Brown.

I'd feel sorry for all the teasing he got in school, if not for the fact that he's rich now. I guess that he must have learned to spin things very well, hence his current career in marketing.

Earth Day.. (1)

NivenHuH (579871) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944629)

It shows that VIA care's about the Earth.. (and conviently released this info on Earth Day).. What other companies are working toward's being 'green' so I know what to buy in the future?

Re:Earth Day.. (1)

Carlos Silva (773727) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944715)

Well.. I'm no smartass.. but to me it looks like a major PR stunt..
What are the REAL advantages of having a lead-free motherboard against having some other regular one?

Re:Earth Day.. (2, Insightful)

NivenHuH (579871) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944740)

Well, obviously, it's not putting lead out into the environment when you trash your old MOBO.. I guess it doesn't help that there are still other harmful materials in PCB's, but, every little bit counts. You have to work your way around one problem before you can focus on the next..

Re:Earth Day.. (1)

ajlitt (19055) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944854)

My employer, for one. See this here Lead free packaging schedule [cirrus.com] . We're not completely in production yet, but are making our way there.

Not because of our blue eyes (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8944636)

They don't do this out of altruism, they have to if they want to sell their products on the EU market, since from 2006, all electronic products will have to be lead free.

Re:Not because of our blue eyes (0)

molo (94384) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944782)

Question, does this include leaded crystal, as in fine glassware and such?

Just curious.

-molo

Re:Not because of our blue eyes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8944815)

Only if the 'EU' still exists in it's present form in 2006.

Wrong headline! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8944655)

Should be: VIA Announces LED-Free Motherboard

They just dropped the blinking POST diags to save a few pennies.

Re:Wrong headline! (1)

Carlos Silva (773727) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944822)

Maybe they can also do a *BSD troll-free /. ...

So, what is in there? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8944666)

Hmmm... they don't say much about what is in it as a replacement. Can someone explain? I presume it is a change in the composition of the solder, but what are they using in place of the lead? More tin?

Re:So, what is in there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8944721)

Its a biodegradable compond called Soylent Gray.

Re:So, what is in there? (1)

JET 666 (28153) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944785)

http://www.kester.com

I think I will wait a year (1)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944668)

I really do wonder if they have got all the kinks worked out. You never know when some odd interaction of materials, manufacturing processes, and customer environments won't create reliability problems.

Thanks EU! (4, Insightful)

taped2thedesk (614051) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944684)

Interesting to see a company that is succeeding with lead-free... They are requiring the phase-out of lead-free components by 2006, and now a lot of companies are scrambling to change their product designs and processes to make this possible. I haven't heard of much success in this area.

I think electronic components have a blanket exemption for now, but this exemption is coming up for review soon. Just to be safe, most companies (including mine, which is part of an exempted industry) are trying to come up with lead-free products.

Not sure how much of an effect this will have... I remember reading that on average, electric components are less than 1% lead. In addition, the substitutes being explored to replace lead solder (silver and antimony) may actually cause more groundwater pollution, because they are more soluble. Doesn't seem like it's much more than a feel-good measure.

A telling story (3, Interesting)

dc_dog (767092) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944714)

The House Small Business Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform and Oversight held a hearing today on "Green Gazelles." The term is used to describe a fast growing business that utilizes environmentally friendly processes in its operations. Look for this trend to contine as a niche market for consumers who are willing to pay more for "green" products. Of course, there is no official certification to determine whether your business is "green" or not so feel free to turn off some lights in your store and advertise away!

How about..... (2, Interesting)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944738)

No water needed for making? What was it? 150 gallons of water just to make memory sticks?

Re:How about..... (1)

Halfbaked Plan (769830) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944835)

How much water does it take to make a baby? How about a tree? Perhaps we should start keeping track.

Re:How about..... (1)

Tribbin (565963) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944869)

GREENPEACE:

Half the use of water for creating memory sticks; double the memory size per stick.

Won't help me (1, Redundant)

zackeller (653801) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944765)

I plan on using it forever!!! No dumpster for me!

Lead Free is nice but... (4, Insightful)

irrelative83 (715424) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944811)

there are more important issues regarding PCs and the evironment. Why don't PC manufacturers make computers that use less power? Nvidia's new graphic card needs a 450 watt power supply - so what if the mobo is lead free? The thing still draws enough power to burn twice as much oil as needed.

props (5, Insightful)

IggDawg (772649) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944817)

It's cool that they're getting into the push for lead-free electronics. It's certainly not easy or cheap to validate lead-free components. I work in acoustic micro imaging, so I look at the insides of ICs, MEMS, and other electronics all day. we get a lot of work from companies doing moisture sensitivity level testing for lead vs. lead free parts. The lead free parts have to go through a hotter solder reflow profile, so any moisture will cause even more damage. The insides of most of the parts look like someone set a bomb off. it takes them a long while and many iterations before they can pull it off right.

So, props to them for getting with it.

disclaimer - I don't work for these guys, nor do I buy their products. I'm just a concerned scientist :P.

I Think This is a Great First Step... (0, Troll)

Tsian (70839) | more than 10 years ago | (#8944855)

But, in many ways, there are more serious problems to worry about. The fabrication of just ONE computer uses tons of dihydrogen monoxide -- a substance used in nuclear plants and in the production of styrofoam! It has even begun seeping into our rivers and streams!

Please, if you care about the enviroment, write AMD and Intel and VIA and ask them to stop their wanton use of dihydrogen monoxide.

Come to think of it, if you actually do write them, it might be equally beneficial to society to ensure that you, yourself, cease and decist from consuming this nasty, nasty compound! :p
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