Supply chains and solid state drives

With contributions from Jay McKay

We’ve been looking at the supply chain information of various Solid State Drive manufacturers and have found at least two, Seagate and Micron/Crucial, who have actual data about their suppliers of conflict minerals. Samsung and SanDisk are also members of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition, which commits to fair trade practices, but their content was mostly aspirational.  We’ve used Micron, through their consumer label Crucial, for many of our MacMini SSD upgrades and we’ll share performance and product reviews at the end of the semester. In the meantime, here is the data from each company for their sources of tantalum, tin, tungsten, and gold (often shortened to 3Ts & G). Suppliers in both sets are validated by the Conflict Free Sourcing Initiative.

Seagate

Current data

  • Of the 646 smelters reported in Seagate’s 2014 supply chain, 142 (22%) were validated as conflict-free while another 109 (17%) were actively participating in a conflict-free auditing program.
  • This represents a 46% increase in the number of conflict-free validated smelters reported in 2014 over 2013.

Next steps

  • Seagate inherited a supply chain from an acquisition of Xyratex and Accelerated Solutions Division, and they are focused on collecting data from these inherited supply chains.
  • Seagate will seek supplier commitments to conflict-free minerals, to request suppliers to have their smelters and refiners engage in the validation audit process, and then if necessary to convert to other preferred sources.

Micron/Crucial

Current data

  • Of the 257 smelters reported in Micron’s 2014 supply chain, 122 (47%) were validated as conflict-free while another 55 (21%) were actively participating in a conflict-free auditing program.
  • This represents a 65% increase in the number of conflict-free validated smelters reported in 2014 over 2013.

Next steps

  • Smelters that refuse to participate in conflict-free auditing programs following reasonable engagement efforts will be targeted for removal from Micron’s supply chain.

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