Computers have linked the world, but their debris spans the world as well.
Producing a single computer requires:
of fossil fuels
LOW ENTROPY MATTER
Computing components are extremely organized structures of matter.
First generation Intel Core i7 processor.
Digital technology is a product of cheap energy, power hungry production methods are inherent to its design.
As energy resources continue to fall, future cheap energy is not guaranteed.
Producing semiconductors consumes
more energy than traditional goods.
Thousands of different chemicals, many in high quantities, are used throughout the manufacturing process.
Most are extremely toxic, and new ones with unknown consequences are constantly developed.
Polishing of silicon wafers.
Increases semiconductor conductivity.
Chemical vapor deposition.
Chemical vapor deposition.
Creates a positive charge in silicon.
LEGACY OF CONTAMINATION
Directly as a result of semiconductor production, Silicon Valley has the most toxic waste sites of any region in the entire USA.
Other areas where there is a history of electronics manufacturing, such as Upstate New York, has a similar problem.
Every large electronics manufacturer that began operations before the 1970s has a toxic waste site in its history.
Toxic waste sites, Silicon Valley.
A typical semiconductor manufacturing facility consumes
This is equivalent to the consumption of
ONE SPECK OF DUST
Microchips are assembled in super clean rooms, a single dust particle would ruin it.
Workers wear bunny suits not for their protection, but for the protection of the chips against any particles from a human body.
A semiconductor clean room.
A GLOBAL PROCESS
The supply chain for computing devices makes up the most sophisticated and complex supply chain system in human history.
Raw resources and components are produced and shipped all around the planet before final assembly.
The global computer supply chain visualized.
Semiconductors are produced in numbers that dwarf other products.
To function, a computer requires hundreds of components, including over 100 microchips.
INTERNET CONNECTED DEVICES IN BILLIONS
2015 - 2025
Any efficiency gains of digital technology will be absorbed by the growing footprint as the number of internet connected devices is expected to triple in the next 5 years.
CONSUMES LOADS OF ENERGY, CHEMICALS, AND WATER
DEMAND IS INCREASING
THIS WILL CAUSE
MAJOR WASTE AND DESTRUCTION
- THIS SYSTEM NEEDS TO BE REBOOTED -
The current computing model of take, make, and dispose needs to be reimagined.
This is critical if humanity is to survive and prosper into the future.
MANUFACTURING IS ONLY ONE PART OF THE PROBLEM