HP, Intel Give Old Stuff a New Shine

Companies talk up recycling of the old and going solid state with the new.

By Andy Patrizio | Posted Jan 23, 2008
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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- HP and Intel are promoting energy efficiency programs and new products that reflect those initiatives. At an event here Wednesday, HP announced new versions of two low-power desktops, one with a 16GB solid state drive (SSD), ie. flash memory drive.

The new systems are the HP Compaq dc7800 Ultra-slim Desktop PC with SSD and the HP Compaq dc5800 Business PC will meet Energy Star efficiency and use all the latest techniques for power efficiency, such as a low wattage CPU and the power management from Intel vPro.

The dc7800 can actually attach to the back of an LCD monitor for a small, albeit less than elegant footprint. Its SSD drive will consume just two watts of power instead of 10 to 12, according to Kirk Godkin, senior product manager for business PCs. Between the SSD drive, Intel's Core 2 processor and vPro management, HP claimed it can cost as little as $10 per year to operate, at least in terms of raw power.

However, the SSD drive comes with just 16GB of capacity, making the dc7800 the computing equivalent of an iPod Touch. Godkin acknowledged that this system is not for everyone, or even many businesses, due to its low capacity. It's aimed at customers where the PC would be used in a single-use environment, like a kiosk.

The 16GB drive runs around $300, vs. $120 for a 80GB standard hard disk. Godkin said in the future, as prices come down, there could be 32GB and 64GB versions as well. The HP Compaq dc7800 is available today in North America at a starting list price of $1,258, while the HP Compaq dc5800 is expected to be available on February 11, starting as low as $579.

The PCs reflect the latest efforts of both companies to reduce harmful materials in computers and recycle as much as possible from old systems. Until recently, old PCs usually ended up in a landfill. Not any more. HP recycled 185 million pounds of PCs in 2006, according to Carl Eckersley, manager in the personal systems group supply chain operations at HP.

That includes old servers, even from a competitor. "If you're buying HP stuff, we'll take [the old equipment]," he said. "We grind up the metal and plastics, recover the precious metals and reuse as much as we can." HP recently passed the one billion pounds recycled mark and hopes to recycle another billion pounds by 2010, he added.

In addition to its low power push, Intel's contribution to the environment has been to make cleaner chips. The newly-launched Penryn line is free of lead and halogens, which will make them less polluting and easier to recycle.

Intel is also working on recycling efforts, although it generally leaves system recycling to the OEMs, according to Todd Brady, corporate environmental manager for Intel. But Intel does have its own project to recycle its own waste in the works. "It's been a multi-year effort, both in the U.S. and overseas," he said.

Intel manufactures chips in places like Costa Rica, Malaysia, Israel and Ireland. If the local pollution control standards aren't particularly strong, Intel still brings back the waste to properly dispose of it. This includes chemicals like acids and salts used to etch the silicon wafers and the metals in the wafers.

"We recycle about 80 percent of the chemical waste and minimize the amount that ends up in a landfill. Last year, about six percent of our total waste ended up in a landfill. Our ultimate goal is to get that to zero."

Article courtesy of InternetNews.com

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