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A. Typically in the operational life of a system, three distinct phases of failure rate will become apparent. Figure 2 shows the reliability bathtub curve with the three phases.
Figure 2. Failure Rate Curve.
The first phase or period is referred to as the infant mortality or early failure period. The second phase is the random or constant cause failure period. This phase is assumed to be the period when the product will be in service. The failure rate for this period is expected to be flat and thus remains (virtually) constant. The last phase is the wear-out period. This period is more predominant in mechanical systems than in electronic systems.[2,3]
Infant mortality failures generally result from manufacturing errors that are not caught in inspection prior to shipping. At TDK, all ceramic capacitors go through thorough inspections and 100% testing to ensure that every chip meets specification before being shipped to customers in order to minimize infant mortality failures. We also perform intentional stress tests to ensure that all of our chip capacitors exceed specifications and expectations of our customers.
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