Effective October 1, 2012, QUALCOMM Incorporated completed a corporate reorganization in which the assets of certain of its businesses and groups, as well as the stock of certain of its direct and indirect subsidiaries, were contributed to Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of QUALCOMM Incorporated. Learn more about these changes

Product Responsibility

Respecting people and the planet as we innovate

Our social responsibility begins with our products—in the contributions they make to society and in the care we take in developing them.

Practicing precaution

Our technology enables devices that empower people and improve lives in numerous ways. Wireless technology is bringing education and opportunity to underdeveloped and remote areas of the globe. It is helping to improve transportation, reduce energy consumption, produce food more efficiently and better connect people.

As mobile technology continues to benefit society in new and often unexpected ways, companies like ours must ensure that the materials used in wireless devices don’t harm human health or the environment. That’s why we address the environmental, health and safety effects of all of our products. Across our Company, we practice the “precautionary principle” of identifying and taking preventative measures regarding chemicals, even in circumstances in which there is a high degree of scientific uncertainty regarding potentially hazardous chemicals. Our own policies are often more stringent than applicable law. We continuously monitor opportunities to improve our products and make them as sustainable as technically and economically feasible.


of our products are subject to our environmental management system or our various programs for eliminating hazardous substances.

With our 2011 acquisition of Atheros Communications, our portfolio of integrated circuit (IC) products expanded substantially. We assessed Atheros’ products and ensured that they comply with all applicable laws and meet our standards for environmental and social responsibilities.

Making our products lead-free

The health and environmental hazards of lead are well documented. We have been proactive in removing lead from our products for more than a decade. Following our successful and proactive introduction of lead-free flip-chips in 2010, we began incorporating lead-free design in all new IC products in 2011, whenever technically and economically feasible.

Our lead-free innovations


We began exploring lead removal from our IC products, well ahead of European regulation.


We became one of the leading IC makers to introduce lead-free chip-scale package products.


The European Union’s Restriction on Hazardous Substance (RoHS) Directive, restricting lead in electrical and electronic equipment, took effect.


We introduced several lead-free flip-chip IC products.


We have begun incorporating lead-free design into new IC products, whenever technically and economically feasible.

Hazardous Substances we don't use

Qualcomm CDMA Technologies’ (QCT) efforts to prohibit the intentional use of various hazardous substances in our IC product design started in 2003. We currently prohibit the use of these 22 substances:

  • Asbestos
  • Azo compounds
  • Cadmium and cadmium compounds
  • Chlorinated paraffins (CP)
  • Diarsenic pentoxide (As205)
  • Diarsenic trioxide (As203)
  • Formaldehyde
  • Hexobromocyco-dodecane (HBCDD) and all major diastereoisomers
  • Hexavalent chromium compounds
  • Mercury and mercury compounds
  • Mirex (perchlorodecone)
  • Organic tin compounds (tributyl tin oxide [TBTO]and triphenyl tins)
  • Ozone-depleting substances
  • Perfluorooctane sulfonates (PFOS)/ Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
  • Phthalates (DEHP, DBP, BBP)
  • Polybrominated biphenyl ethers (PBDEs)
  • Polybromobiphenyls (PBBs)
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
  • Polychlorinated naphthalenes (PCNs)
  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
  • Radioactive substances
  • Tetrabromobisphenol-A (TBBPA)

In addition to the substances we’ve prohibited for use in our products, we strive not to use the EU REACH Substances of Very High Concern candidates or the regulated substances listed in the Joint Industry Guide (JIG-101 Ed 4.0) in the manufacture of our products.

Eliminating Bromine and Chlorine

Although the law does not prohibit the use of all brominated and chlorinated compounds in our products, we have been proactive in eliminating them because of the potential hazards they pose.


We incorporated bromine-free mold compounds.


All new IC products began incorporating a bromine/chlorine-free package design.


We converted a number of high-volume legacy products to bromine/chlorine-free designs, including our single-chip solution and MSM7xxx Series products.


We have extended bromine/chlorine-free design to our non-IC products, including our embedded Gobi 3G module for notebooks and netbooks. All new Gobi designs are bromine-free and chlorine-free.

Complying with regulations

We strive to comply with all applicable laws wherever we do business. Among the ways we comply:

  • All of our IC, Gobi and new European fleet management products are in compliance with the EU RoHS Directive and perfluorootanoic acid/ perfluorootanoic sulfonate (PFOA/PFOS) Directive.
  • We strive not to have EU REACH Substances of Very High Concern candidates used in the manufacture of our products.
  • Qualcomm Enterprise Services products manufactured and shipped for the European market comply with the EU Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive.
  • QCT products fully comply with Phase 1 of China’s Management Methods on Control of Pollution from Electronic Information Products (also known as China RoHS). Qualcomm chipsets will comply with the material restriction requirements that apply to the Catalogue-listed products.
In 2011, we had no fines for noncompliance with laws and regulations concerning the provision and use of our products and services.
Taking action to support DRC conflict-free mineral sourcing

Thinking Ahead

Taking action to support DRC conflict-free mineral sourcing

We strive to produce products free of “DRC conflict minerals”—minerals mined in conflict areas in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and surrounding areas that may possibly be funding activities linked to human rights violations and environmental degradation. (Read about our policy on DRC conflict-free minerals and about our most recent work on this issue here.)

In 2011, we prepared for compliance with the yet-to-be released conflict-mineral regulations called for under the U.S. Dodd-Frank Act, modeling our internal processes on the OECD Due Diligence Guidance. The Guidance aims to foster greater transparency in the supply chain and promote DRC conflict-free sourcing of gold, tantalum, tin and tungsten.

To prepare for compliance with Dodd-Frank, we:

  • Implemented a conflict-free minerals policy and published it on our website.
  • Developed an internal compliance strategy and schedule.
  • Engaged with suppliers to our QCT business unit—including non-U.S. listed suppliers—to educate them about Dodd-Frank, proposed U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regulations and the OECD Due Diligence Guidance.
  • Participated in the EICC-GeSI Extractives Work Group.
  • Expressed our intention to use the EICC-GeSI Conflict Minerals Reporting Template to collect sourcing information from direct suppliers to QCT and to communicate that information to our customers. We expect to implement the template and begin sharing information with customers in 2012.
  • Expressed our intent to join the Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade to contribute to the development of a clean minerals sourcing program in the DRC and surrounding areas.