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The “Congo” Chip

By Matthew Yglesias  

"The “Congo” Chip"

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I’ve written previously about how purchases of rare metals used to build electronics helps to fuel Congo’s series of civil conflicts. Under the circumstances, it seems bizarre that AMD has decided to dub a new chip of theirs the “Congo”. David Sullivan remarks at ENOUGH:

Did someone actually think it was a good idea to name a microchip after the Congo? It is, after all, the place where trade in minerals vital to technology like ultra-thin laptops is fueling the deadliest conflict in the world.

Okay, AMD isn’t one of the 21 companies that Enough has contacted about Congo’s conflict minerals, so I can understand that they didn’t get the memo. But apparently Hewlett Packard is one of the laptop manufacturers planning to use the new ‘Congo’ chip technology, and they have been one of the most outspoken companies attempting to address mineral supply chain issues.

Of course at the end of the day what chips get given which names doesn’t really matter. But the endless violence in Congo does matter, and better-understanding the supply chains used by major electronics firms matters to helping contain and curtail the violence. Check out the Come Clean 4 Congo video contest for more on this.

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