Lead-free motherboard kinder to environment

VIA has stripped lead out of its manufacturing process to comply with new laws on the recycling of IT equipment

Chip manufacturer VIA announced this week that it has produced a motherboard that contains no lead, in partnership with Japanese technology firm Yamashita.

The development will accelerate the move towards more environmentally friendly computing, according to VIA, which claims that the AS-1210 is the world's first lead-free motherboard.

VIA says it has redesigned several of its processes to eliminate the need to use lead, including the manufacturing of its range of processors and chipsets. 

Chips are usually  fastened to a motherboard using a number of tiny balls of lead-based solder on the base of the chip. VIA can now do this using a mixture of tin, silver and copper instead.

The issue of environmental friendliness is becoming increasingly important for the IT industry. The Europe Union's Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) means that After August 2005, manufacturers will have to take back unwanted computers and make sure they are properly recycled.

VIA says that its lead-free manufacturing processes comply with WEEE, and also with the Restrictions of Hazardous Substances (ROHS), which is a second EU directive