Electronic Design

THAT Corporation Gets the Lead Out

Milford, MA - April 23, 2004 -- In a proactive move to comply with the European Directive RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances), THAT Corporation is pleased to announce its first shipments of lead-free integrated circuits (ICs). The first parts available in a lead-free package are surface mount versions of THAT's 2181-series voltage controlled amplifiers (VCAs), used by many manufacturers throughout the pro audio industry.

"All electronics manufacturers selling within Europe must eliminate lead from their products by July 1, 2006 ," said Gary Hebert, THAT's chief technology officer. "Compliance starts with component suppliers like THAT, who must offer lead-free versions of their products. Then, pro audio equipment makers can re-engineer their soldering methods to eliminate the lead that they routinely add. While this requires a non-trivial adaptation of current soldering processes, the entire world ultimately benefits from this cooperative effort through less lead in the environment."

Les Tyler , THAT's president stated "THAT's goal is to introduce lead-free alternatives throughout our product line by the end of 2004. This will include our through-hole VCAs, our Analog Engine® family, and all our new input and output stages. We intend to maintain dual inventory of our ICs until our customers are comfortable with switching completely to lead-free processes.".

Samples of the current lead free parts as well as additional information regarding lead-free products are available at AES 116, booth # 3113 and on THAT’s web site at www.thatcorp.com.

The RoHS mandate for electronic equipment will require most electronic products sold (and imported) into to be lead-free by July 1, 2006 . Historically, lead has been added to tin in solder and plating on component leads in order to reduce the temperature which electronics components see during the soldering process. A variety of technologies are in use for lead-free component leads, including 100% tin, tin-bismuth alloys, and layered plating techniques such as nickel-paladium-gold. No one process has yet emerged as a standard. Equipment makers must match their soldering process to the plating process used in the components.

For additional information contact:
THAT Corporation, 45 Sumner Street, Milford , MA 01757-1656 , U.S.A.
Telephone: (508) 478-9200; Fax: (508) 478-0990;
E-mail: [email protected]


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