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PLANO, Texas, Dec. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Texas Advanced OptoelectronicSolutions(R), Inc. (TAOS) announced today that every device in each of itsoptoelectronic sensor solution product families is now lead-free and fullycompliant with the restrictions on hazardous substances required by theEuropean Union. Moreover, TAOS has achieved RoHS (Restriction of HazardousSubstances) compliancy seven months ahead of the July 1, 2006 deadline.
RoHS compliancy is a directive established by the European Union thatrestricts the use of six hazardous substances in electronic components shippedinto Europe . The directive will take effect on July 1, 2006 . The RoHSdirective requires that manufacturers be able to demonstrate minimal levels ofthe following identified substances:- Lead (Pb) -0.1% PPM - Hexavalent chromium (Cr +6) -0.1% PPM - Mercury (Hg) -0.1% PPM - PolyBrominated Biphenyl (PBB) -0.1% PPM - Cadmium (Cd) -0.01% PPM - PolyBrominated Diphenyl Ether (PBDE) -0.1% PPM
For the semiconductor industry, the presence of lead in lead framesrepresented one of the biggest barriers to meeting the requirements of theRoHS restrictions, but that is not the only potential violation. "We startedby submitting each of our devices to an independent testing lab to determinewhat corrective actions would be necessary to meet the RoHS requirements,"said Ray King , TAOS, Inc. market specialist. "Many manufacturers equatelead-free with RoHS compliance, but there is more to meeting the RoHSrequirement than getting the lead out of your devices. At TAOS, our mainconcern was to not only make all of our products RoHS-compliant, but to meetour customer's needs by making the product available well in advance of themandated deadline. We consider that to be an important part of providing ourcustomers with complete intelligent optoelectronic solutions, not just a lightsensor."
One step taken by TAOS was a process change to replace tin/lead alloyswith pure tin in the sidelooker, plastic dual-in-line (PDIP) and chipscale(CS) packages. TAOS has chosen to use a -LF suffix to designate lead-freeproducts. The -LF devices are made to be a transparent replacement for thecurrent part number. In the near term, the non -LF devices will continue tobe available for customers to order as well. However, TAOS will eventuallytransition to manufacturing only RoHS-compliant products.
Cadmium is another substance included in the RoHS restrictions. CadmiumSulfide sensors have been the device of choice for many light sensingapplications. However, the use of cadmium sulfide detectors most likely willcreate a non-compliance with the RoHS directive. All light sensors from TAOS,Inc. are silicon-based and contain no cadmium. "We believe that the TAOSambient light sensors will provide an attractive alternative for applicationsin which cadmium sulfide-based light sensors had previously been used," saidKing.