Intel reminds the world that its new line of processors are the first to be “conflict free”

Intel reminds the world that its new line of processors are the first to be “conflict free”
It is not a pleasant topic to think about, but in many places around the world, commodities that are in high-demand are mined or harvested with little regard for what western societies think are fundamental safety protocols or workplace conduct.

Few places on earth are blessed with such natural resources, and cursed by the strife of war as the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Since the 1960s, DRC, then known as Zaire, has been languishing under the boot of a dictator, or embroiled in some type of civil war. More than 5 million people have been killed since the mid-1990s.

As the world economy grew, the demand for materials such as diamonds, copper, gold, cobalt, and other minerals has exploded. The DRC is rich in those items, and they are all used to one degree or another in high-tech manufacturing. Despite strong growth for the economy as a whole, over 70% of those that live there are below the poverty line, and work conditions exist at the whim of whomever is the stronger war-lord.

Products like microprocessors are heavily dependent on these minerals, and Intel, the largest chip-maker in the world, made a point of steering its supply chain clear of these materials that were sourced in conflict zones like DRC.

At CES earlier this year, Intel announced from that moment going forward, all of its processors would be “conflict free.” That is easier said than done when other multi-billion dollar corporations have not signed on to the same mission.

By starting off on its own however, Intel has created a slow-moving groundswell of support through organizations like the Enough Project. Now, Intel, along with HP, Apple, BlackBerry, Microsoft, Dell, Motorola, Nokia, and others are ranked favorably for their “conflict” materials and maintaining positive control of their supply chains.

Companies in the middle include Samsung, LG, IBM, Sony, Toshiba, and Lenovo. They have made a start, but like any good deed, there is arguably room for improvement. Companies ranked lower include Nintendo, Sharp, Canon, and HTC.

While some activists would encourage people to take action using their wallets when it comes to buying these companies’ products, it should be said that for companies that outsource a lot of their manufacturing, it is more difficult and costly to control and adjust supply chains. For a company like HTC, they likely have other things on their mind.

As Intel has spearheaded the effort, we expect to see the movement become more visible over time, now that other high-profile businesses joined the ranks to not finance the conflicts. Whether or not these actions will actually help, we may not know except in the long-term.


FEATURED VIDEO

19 Comments

1. AJagtiani

Posts: 466; Member since: Apr 24, 2014

Qualcomm > Intel. I hope qualcomm start making PC x86 chips soon.

4. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

I can tell you didn't read the article.

7. Jinto

Posts: 436; Member since: Jan 15, 2014

He saw the bullets and he got in his fanboy mode

5. anirudhshirsat97

Posts: 408; Member since: May 24, 2011

Ya, right...

8. anirudhshirsat97

Posts: 408; Member since: May 24, 2011

Also why in gods name do you want x86 chips for PC ?

15. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2252; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Qualcomm would never set foot in the PC world except for making portable computers that run a version of Windows/Android on it. It wouldn't be a smart business strategy at all considering Intel and AMD have such a strong foothold on the PC market and have many partnerships with other PC components (i.e. AMD bought ATI graphics and now has AMD graphic cards, Intel has traditionally partnered with nVidia graphic cards). As far as Qualcomm being better than Intel, eh I'd hold my judgment until Moorefield is officially released in a tablet (which should be soon). It's supposed to feature a quad-core 64-bit processor at 2.3 Ghz paired with a PowerVR G6430 GPU. It'll be interesting to see how it performs against the Snapdragon 805.

18. Shubham412302

Posts: 550; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

snapdragon 801 gives same flops performance as the 6 years old core 2 duo clocked at same speed. so have can this(q>intel) be true?

2. Jinto

Posts: 436; Member since: Jan 15, 2014

That's nice of them

3. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

And I hope AMD starts making super high performance ARM chips so the entire WinTel duopoly can be flushed down the drain. The PC industry has been stagnant for years due to Microsoft and Intel. It's time for a change.

6. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

I can tell you also didn't read the article.

9. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

To be honest, I just look at the pictures.

10. ocilfa

Posts: 334; Member since: Aug 03, 2012

It shows

11. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Because we should all stay on point and discuss Intel's meaningless press propaganda. It's all lies anyway.

12. vincelongman

Posts: 5611; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Like PapaSmurf is saying, this is article is about x86 not ARM I defiantly would say the PC industry has been stagnant, sure growth and advances has slowed But the PC industry is still strong and growing Most people still prefer Windows/Mac over tablets And the PC gaming industry just over took the console industry in profits I wish AMD could competition Intel in the high-end desktop market First so to drive down the prices for Intel's i5 and i7 And second to force Intel to allow hypertheading on i5s and make the base i7 6-8 cores with hypertheading

13. ocilfa

Posts: 334; Member since: Aug 03, 2012

For what its worth, skylake will bring some of those features. The whole platform will carry at least quad-core config's, and with i7's and such being full 8 core's

17. vincelongman

Posts: 5611; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Intel have 6 core i7s starting from ~$600, for comparison Intel's 4 core i7s start at ~$300 I'm sure if AMD had a CPU which could match, Intel's 6 core wouldn't be ~$600

14. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Sure, in a few areas, PCs aren't dead. But the entire "post PC" thing wasn't just talk. People are sick to death of the stagnation that is WinTel. AMD is doing interesting, novel things. Intel not so much. Incumbents, especially those with entrenched monopolies, usally aren't agents of change. http://www.anandtech.com/show/7990/amd-announces-k12-core-custom-64bit-arm-design-in-2016

16. vincelongman

Posts: 5611; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Both AMD and Intel doing great thing, e.g. AMD's Mantle API (which is needed right now as AMD's CPUs are bottlenecking PCs and the consoles), AMD's APUs improving and their GPUs are great value especially their high GPUs e.g Intel's power efficiency is constantly improving, their Atoms are quite capable now, and their iGPUs are catching up to AMD's, thunderbolt has great potential and their desktop CPUs are far a behind. I only meant AMD's high end desktop CPUs have fallen behind, e.g. their 6 core FX CPUs are only slightly better than Intel's dual core i3s, and their 8 core FX CPUs are just keeping up with with Intel's base quad core i5s

19. ZeroCide

Posts: 809; Member since: Jan 09, 2013

Blood Chips

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.