Is Pb-Free The Next Y2K?

from the in-more-ways-than-one dept

Robert Cringely’s latest column is looking at the issue of Pb-Free, which is a regulation stating that products in the EU (and, increasingly, other parts of the world) need to be almost entirely lead free by July 2006. Cringely is worried that no one is thinking about the implications of this, which may require major equipment shifts for electronics makers and, he believes, shifts in what type of technology is used in electronics, since direct replacements for lead may be less reliable. He’s worried that it will end up being costly, and is likely to drive tier II and III suppliers out of business – especially since they have no current plans for how to make the switch. Of course, unlike Y2K (which he compares it to), there’s no hard deadline on this, and no risk of existing equipment no longer working.

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Comments on “Is Pb-Free The Next Y2K?”

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Anonymous Coward says:

All Majors have lead free programs

All the major chip and passive companies have lead-free, “green” or other incentives to make the EU regulations on time, so every single major OEM you can think of is okay and on time.

I can’t comment on the smaller guys, but every seminar you see has classes on this, so I think this is Chicken Little reporting.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: All Majors have lead free programs

Yes, for instance, the National Electronics Manufacturers Initiative (NEMI) is quite concerned with this and spending much effort to help members create lead free products. There are also government scientists at the National Inistitute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and researchers that are working on this problem (and quite willing to share their information with the ‘smaller guys’).

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