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Fujitsu Develops World's First Sn/Zn/Al Lead-Free Solder
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Fujitsu Limited

Fujitsu Develops World's First Sn/Zn/Al Lead-Free Solder

Low Melting Temperature Facilitates Adoption to Existing Soldering Processes

Tokyo, June 5, 2002-Fujitsu Limited today announced that, in conjunction with Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd., it has developed a new lead-free solder that combines tin (Sn), zinc (Zn), and aluminum (Al). Fujitsu has already obtained a U.S. patent on the process (Patent No.: US 6,361,626), and patent applications are pending in seven other countries, including Japan.

Up until now, the most widely accepted lead-free solder has been an alloy composed of tin, silver and copper, but it has a relatively high melting point of approximately 220°C. Its adoption in soldering processes designed for the conventional tin (Sn)-lead (Pb) eutectic solder, which requires a lower melting point of 183°C, would therefore entail a drastic overhaul of both equipment and processing systems. Furthermore, the higher processing temperature required imposes a significant thermal load during assembly, necessitating the use of components having high thermal resistance. In addition, the alloy includes silver, making it costlier than conventional materials, and presenting yet another hurdle to its widespread adoption as a lead-free solder.

Fujitsu's new lead-free solder, by contrast, has a melting temperature of 199°C--much closer to that of conventional leaded solders. Its adoption does not entail a significant change to existing soldering processes, and the required heat tolerance of the components used is similar to that of conventional soldering processes. The use of tin, zinc and aluminum-all widely available materials-makes the new solder a cost effective alternative, and should therefore ease the transition to lead-free processes for facilities using existing equipment.

In accordance with the Third Fujitsu Environmental Protection Program, all companies within the Fujitsu Group are making headway in the transition to lead-free soldering. All Group companies plan to completely phase out lead soldering by the end of the 2003 fiscal year, and Fujitsu Limited itself plans to completely eliminate the use of lead solders by the end of December 2002. To fully develop commercial applications by the end of the current fiscal year, the new lead-free solder is currently being used on a trial basis for personal computers and other equipment, and Fujitsu plans to expand its application to all products in the future.

The transition to lead-free processes is an issue facing all manufacturers in the electronics industry. Fujitsu plans to actively license its lead-free technology to both Japanese and foreign manufacturers, and the company has already licensed the technology to some solder material manufacturers. Widespread adoption of this lead-free process will make a significant contribution to global environmental protection. Furthermore, the new solder's low melting temperature will help to reduce the heat generated in manufacturing facilities and thereby contribute to reducing CO2 emissions.

About Fujitsu
Fujitsu is a leading provider of customer-focused IT and communications solutions for the global marketplace. Pace-setting technologies, high-reliability/performance computing and telecommunications platforms, and a worldwide corps of systems and services experts make Fujitsu uniquely positioned to unleash the infinite possibilities of the broadband Internet to help its customers succeed. Headquartered in Tokyo, Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 5 trillion yen (about US$38 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2002.
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[Press Contacts]
Kikuya Hanazato, Robert Pomeroy
Fujitsu Limited, Public & Investor Relations
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Fujitsu Limited,
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