Electronic waste has always been a major source of contaminates, but several top semiconductor companies recently announced that they now possess the ability to make microchips that contain only trace amounts of harmful chemicals. Consumers are becoming more concerned about what goes into their electronic devices while public authorities are faced with difficult decisions about what to do with electronic refuse. New greener microchip design should prove to be a marketing boon for these companies while also helping the planet.
Engineers in Taiwan recently developed a form of SDRAM that meets the European Union’s stringent RoHS cleanliness standards that still provides blazing fast data transfer speeds. These new SDRAM chips come in pairs that form a full gigabyte of temporary storage when wired together, and can rewrite pages even larger than this every single second. That makes them perfect even for gamers playing the hottest new shooters. A journal article published by the development team claims that this same technology can soon be applied to NAND modules as well, which would usher in a new era of non-volatile memory that could be easily recycled worn out.
A majority of toxic electronic waste actually comes from power supplies and batteries. Chemical electrolytes used in these devices are often quite dangerous. Technologists in Hong Kong announced that they’re now able to assemble desktop and laptop power supplies that are fully compliant with RoHS. These new power supplies also generate much less electromagnetic pollution than most other previous designs.
The Connector Connection
None of this could be possible without advanced in connector equipment. Those little components that allow one device to attach to jacks on circuit boards used to be surprisingly toxic. Top technology firms are completely retooling the processes used to make these tiny devices, which in turn is making it possible to clean everything else up in turn. Numerous companies now offer jacks devoid of any harmful chemicals. A quick search of the iPex connector products catalog, for example, shows numerous RoHS-compliant designs.
A Changing Market
High-end markets were always the last to adopt these kinds of changes because green designs tend to be anemic. Gamers and enterprise users need more powerful equipment than most people do. If the trends these engineers started keep up, then even high-end buyers will have access to chips that are a bit more friendly toward the environment.