NATIONAL Semiconductor, represented in Australia by Arrow Electronics , will achieve 100% lead-free production by the end of June 2006. As a result all of the company's integrated circuits will be sold in lead-free packages.
This is part of an effort to make more environmentally neutral electronic components, protect the environment and facilitate recycling. In addition to eliminating lead, National has also significantly reduced bromine and antimony-based flame retardants from its packaging processes.
At the end of June 2006 the company will be fully compliant with the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive enacted by the European Parliament. 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 program is fully implemented, National expects to replace approximately five tons of lead used per year.