Microchip Converts to RoHS-Compliant, Lead (Pb)-Free Packaging

11/10/2004 - Microchip Technology Inc., a leading provider of microcontroller and analog semiconductors, announced the conversion of its product packaging to environmentally friendly lead (Pb)-free plating, beginning January 2005, in compliance with pending worldwide government regulations and industry standards. The Company has selected matte tin (Sn) as its new plating material. This ensures that Microchip Pb-free products are backward compatible with industry-standard, tin/lead-based soldering processes, and forward compatible with higher-temperature Pb-free processes that are used with Pb-free pastes such as tin/silver/copper (SnAgCu).

The European Union “Restrictions on Hazardous Substances” (RoHS) directive is scheduled to go into effect on July 1, 2006, and governs all electronic equipment manufactured or sold in the European Union member countries. This directive limits the amount of Pb in electronic equipment. By enabling customers to convert to Pb-free semiconductors early, Microchip is helping them to eliminate Pb from their manufacturing processes well ahead of schedule. Microchip expects to phase out its inventory of tin/lead (SnPb)-plated products far in advance of the 2006 deadline.

“We are very pleased to assist our customers in achieving early compliance with the European Union RoHS directive and other countries’ similar regulations,” said Steve Sanghi, Microchip’s President and CEO. “Due to the forward and backward compatibility of Microchip’s Pb-free semiconductors, customers can begin to convert early without concern for any soldering issues in a mixed SnPb/Pb-free environment during the transition period when both package types are available.”

Matte tin was selected as the new plating material to replace current SnPb plating. In fact, matte tin plating has been shipping in volume production from Microchip, under dedicated Pb-free part numbers, for more than a year. Microchip is able to retain Moisture Sensitivity Level 1 (MSL1) at 260 degrees Celsius, which is the higher soldering temperature required by some Pb-free soldering systems -- ensuring forward compatibility.

For most of Microchip’s packages in the new matte tin finish, sample availability and volume production are expected to begin in January 2005. Customers may receive SnPb or Pb-free material during 2005, while the existing inventory of SnPb-plated products is depleted and replaced with Pb-free material. For additional information or special requirements, contact any Microchip sales representative or authorized worldwide distributor, or visit Microchip’s Web site at www.microchip.com/pbfree.

About Microchip Technology
Microchip Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MCHP) is a leading provider of microcontroller and analog semiconductors, providing low-risk product development, lower total system cost and faster time to market for thousands of diverse customer applications worldwide. Headquartered in Chandler, Arizona, Microchip offers outstanding technical support along with dependable delivery and quality. For more information, visit the Microchip website at www.microchip.com.

The Microchip name and logo is a registered trademark of Microchip Technology Inc. in the USA and other countries.

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