This is a processor chip that includes the logic and microarchitecture to perform complex tasks in an instant, an astonishing achievement considering it is made entirely of materials found in nature.
You may know that electronics contain silicon refined from sand, but they also contain many rare metals, including gold, silver, platinum and palladium. Gold is a very efficient and non-corrosive electrical conductor, perfect for the millions of sensitive signals sent in a CPU. All of the tiny contacts on this chip are pure gold.
This CPU was obtained through urban mining—salvaging discarded electronics, also called e-waste, for the recovery of precious metals. There is more gold in 1 ton of computers than in 1 ton of gold ore; most estimates range from 40 to 800 times the amount.
Chemical processes make it possible to extract gold on its own, but currently only about 12% of precious metals used in electronics are recycled.
In 2011, it was estimated there existed around 6,800 tonnes of gold in used electronic equipment in Japan alone. And that goldmine continues to grow.
So its no surprise that the recent Olympic Games in Tokyo made all 5,000 gold, silver, and bronze medals entirely from recycled e-waste.
This item was featured in a recent Matter box.
Includes one central processing unit displayed in an acrylic case. Yours may look slightly different from the images.
How to recover gold