One-billionth lead-free device shipped by Microchip Technology
A leading provider of microcontroller and analog semiconductors, Microchip Technology Inc . recently announced shipment of its one-billionth lead-free device. This follows the conversion of the company’s chip product packaging to environmentally friendly lead (Pb)-free plating in 2004. The European Union (EU) "Restrictions on Hazardous Substances" (RoHS) directive is scheduled to go into effect on July 1, 2006. It governs all electronic equipment manufactured or sold in EU member countries and limits the amount of lead in electronic equipment.
Efficient conversion of semiconductor manufacturing to new matte-tin (Sn) plating material ensures that Microchip Pb-free products are backward compatible with Pb-based soldering processes and forward compatible with higher-temperature Pb-free processes. "Microchip is committed to manufacturing our industry-leading embedded control semiconductors in an environmentally responsible manner," says Steve Sanghi, Microchip's president and CEO. "By shipping one billion Pb-free devices well ahead of regulatory mandates, Microchip has successfully demonstrated our ability to combine environmentalism and commerce." Customers also benefit from ability to convert to Pb-free semiconductors early.
"Excluding production of semiconductors for automotive and other select accounts who want us to continue to make tin-lead devices, over 99% of the rest of Microchip's production now consists of Pb-free devices,” adds Sanghi. Customers may receive SnPb or Pb-free material during the remainder of 2005, while existing inventory of SnPb-plated products is depleted and replaced with Pb-free material.
Frank J. Bartos, executive editor, Control Engineering