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National Semiconductor targets 100% lead-free products end of June

Posted: 02 Jun 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:ic? lead-free?

National Semiconductor Corp. is working on achieving 100 percent lead-free production by the end of June 2006. As a result, all of the company's ICs will be sold in lead-free packages.

The aggressive initiative is part of the company's effort to make more environmentally neutral electronic components, protect the environment and facilitate recycling. In addition to eliminating lead, National has also reduced bromine and antimony-based flame-retardants from its packaging processes.

In April 2004, National announced its intention to offer lead-free packages for its complete line of ICs, and its product portfolio of 15,000 analog and mixed-signal ICs is currently available in lead-free packages. At the end of June 2006, when National's entire product offering will be sold lead-free (unless deemed exempt), the company will be fully compliant with the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive enacted by the European Parliament. However, National's lead reduction goals are substantially more aggressive than those in countries where the company does business.

Lead was formerly used in the plating finish of copper leadframe-based packages. It was also used in the solder balls of array packages such as Micro SMD, PBGA and FBGA packages. National has replaced the lead in leadframe packages with a matte tin finish, in the solder balls with a tin-silver-copper alloy for micro SMD, and tin-silver for PBGA and FBGA packages. Once this aggressive program is fully implemented, National expects to replace about five tons of lead used per year.

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