I'm working on a product, a single-board computer with an expected lifetime of 10-15 years, and I'm trying to identify the correct components to focus on for this. So far electrolytic capacitors appear to be the weakest and most obvious link, but I'm finding it hard to estimate how well switch-mode converters (ICs) will survive at elevated temperatures for example. At the maximum ambient temperature I'm seeing some of the ICs approaching their maximum operating temperature. Can I possibly assume that while the ICs are within specifications they'll likely function well for years to come on average?
Should I hence focus solely on specifying the electrolytic capacitors for this lifetime and maximum expected temperatures and assume the ICs and resistors will be of little concern?
The product has been designed with low self heating in mind, low-power DDR3 memories, synchronous step-down converters, and omission of all linear regulators. The board itself however is enclosed in a 100% waterproof metal enclosure (HMI) which can not contain air vents or complex dissipating surfaces for cleaning reasons. Hence in extreme cases with ambient temperatures of 40 degrees celcius it gets hot inside the enclosure and parts need to withstand elevated temperatures.