Good Afternoon

A IC which has Max current rating is 10A , But in my Design i will always use it at 5A current only. Will my component life will be double by doing this or not??

  • \$\begingroup\$ What does the data sheet say about it? If it isn't mentioned, the question is meaningless. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 26, 2015 at 20:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, one of those. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 26, 2015 at 20:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you drop it out of a window it probably wont last all that long. (My point is there are a million and one factors that could govern how long a component will last). \$\endgroup\$ Sep 26, 2015 at 20:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ It depends on the component. But let's assume we have a LED, which is rated for 20mA and 3V. This particular LED has 30000 hours of life, but if we give it 30mA instead, the life span will drop to 10000 hours. If on the other hand, we drop the current to 10mA, this particular LED will last for 100000 hours. These are just imaginary numbers, but if the current is not strong enough to burn a wire, the wire will not burn (unless the building is on fire). Again, it depends on the component type. I understand you're not speaking about a LED. \$\endgroup\$
    – user87445
    Sep 26, 2015 at 22:14
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The most common factor to life in a working design is heat. If there is not enough heat dissipation the junction temperatures get too hot. This causes failures in performance like increased resistance, leakage current etc Which can lead to higher temperatures that burn the device or it stops working. \$\endgroup\$
    – Spoon
    Sep 27, 2015 at 9:19

1 Answer 1


MIL-HDBK-217F is a masterful source on reliability despite its longevity. For example, you can choose a resistor, capacitor, diode' transistor or IC, place it in the category that best describes its circuit limits (and environmental factors) and get a meaningful value to its MTBF (mean time between failures).

I still use it today (when the customer asks (and they still do)) and I don't know of any more reliable source.

You can choose to to set its operating parameters to 50% if that is what the target circuit runs at and you can get real MTBF numbers out. Don't be dissapointed though; this document is not an easy read for a beginner. Be prepared to consider what sort of operating environment the component is used in. Here you might be unfamiliar with terms such as ground-benign or ground-mobile or, at the very extremes,canon shot (i.e. missile).

It's a good document and still used today despite its age.


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