I'm dealing with an application which makes use of an adjustable linear voltage regulator (LT3080). A trimpot potentiometer is used in place of the set resistance Rset to regulate the output voltage. A constant set current of 10 uA flows into the Rset and gives the output voltage following the equation Vout = Rset*Iset The linear regulator is powered by a 12V DC input source. I would like the output voltage to vary between 5V DV and 12V DC (minus the voltage dropout). Therefore I would split Rset in the series of two resistors: a 500 KOhm fixed resistor and a variable trimpot of 1 MOhm. In this way the minimum Rset will be 500 KOhm and therefore the minimum output voltage will be 5V. The maximum Rset will be 1.5 MOhm and the output voltage will go at maximum allowed. I was keen in choosing a high accuracy (0.1%) fixed Rset resistor and a good accuracy (10%) trimpot. I'm now concerned about the life of the trimpot. The datasheet of the trimpot I chose (BOURNS 3362P-1-105LF) states that rotational life is 200 cycles. I'm aware that cermet potentiometers like this one have limited rotational life. On the other hand, there is one value I am most concerned about: load life. Here again, the datasheet states 1,000 hours 0.5 watt @ 70 °C. Since I am burning a meaningless amount of power in the potentiometer, can I expect longer life? And the most important question here: What will happen after these values have been passed? Will the potentiometer be like a shortcut or and open circuit? Or there will just be derating from the set resistor value? The system is expected to work in standard room conditions, at an ambient temperature of +25C, non condensing.