VIA Technologies on Wednesday launched what it calls the world's first "carbon-neutral" PC processor, aiming to appeal to large organisations that want to reduce their impact on the environment.
The environment has become a significant issue in the PC hardware world, with some PC makers introducing recycling programmes and chipmakers touting chips with low energy consumption. Energy usage and heat output are also a concern for companies running large, power-hungry data centres in a time of rising energy prices.
VIA 's C7-D processor has low power consumption, at a maximum of 20W for the 1.8GHz version, allowing for smaller power supplies and cooling fans. The company is going a step further, however, in promising to fund regional energy conservation, reforestation and alternative energy projects to offset the carbon dioxide produced over the life of the chip.
The company has engaged UK-based firm Carbon Footprint to carry out the initial offset projects. The C7-D is shipping now and is available in 1.5GHz and 1.8GHz speeds.
VIA is also introducing a benchmark system with the catchy name of "TreeMark", intended to help organisations factor environmental impact into processor purchasing decisions, just as they do performance, price and other measurements.
The company has already introduced other green programmes, including eliminating lead from its silicon products and reducing its chips' energy consumption.