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Intel releases more Quad-Core Xeons

Processor vendor Intel says all of its Xeon server chips now use halogen-free packaging

Intel announced four new quad-core Xeon models on Monday that use a halogen-free packaging technology that is easier on the environment.

The Quad-Core Xeon L5430, X5470, X5492, and X5270 processors run at clock speeds ranging from 2.66GHz to 3.5GHz and are priced from US$562 to US$1,493 each, in 1,000-unit quantities. The 5400-series chips are available immediately and the X5270 will be released in the coming months.

Intel did not say where halogen was specifically used in its chips, but it is often used as a flame retardant, including in the resin used in packaging for some chips. Halogen releases dioxins, a family of toxic chemical compounds, into the atmosphere when these chips or other components are disposed of and the resins are burned.

Intel is working to use halogen-free packaging for all of its chips, and has previously said it expects to achieve that goal this year. The first halogen-free chips from Intel were the Atom line, released earlier this year. With the announcement of the latest four Xeons, Intel said the same packaging materials will now be used in all of its Xeon server chips.

The use of halogen-free packaging marks the latest step in Intel’s efforts to curb the environmental impact of its chips. Last year, the company began using lead-free solder with its Penryn family of chips that are produced using a 45-nanometer process. Lead, which is highly toxic, has been the subject of environmental legislation to reduce its use in several markets.