If an IC is rated for an absolute maximum junction temperature of, say, 170°C, obviously it is not recommended to operate there - but how drastically is product lifetime impacted if we are close, say operating at a junction temperature of 160°C? How severely does an IC's lifetime get shortened as we get closer to the maximum junction temperature?


2 Answers 2


There are two rules of thumb when it comes to premature aging of electronics and temperature:

  1. Every 10°C above 25°C halves its life

  2. Every 15°C above 25°C halves its life.

The 10°C is derived from a certain application of Arrhenius' equation

$$ AF = e^{ \frac{E_a}{k}}\left(\frac{1}{T_\mathrm{use}}- \frac{1}{T_\mathrm{test}}\right) $$

The issue with this is the 10°C result was a very broad interpretation of the empirical results (no consideration was given to other failure modes).

MIL-HDBK-217 took into account field data and concluded that 15°C is a figure more applicable to practical usage


  • \$\begingroup\$ I think that Every 10°C above 25°C halves its life is related to chemistry. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 24, 2018 at 11:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree, this was then broadly applied. I have been looking into this recently wrt uprating. The problem is the mail is out of date \$\endgroup\$
    – user16222
    Commented Nov 24, 2018 at 13:16
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ And to just put a number to it. \$2^{\frac{160-25}{15}}=512\$. That means, if the device has a lifetime of 512 years at 25° C, then it will have a lifetime of 1 year at 160° C. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 25, 2018 at 2:49

Should be half its life with every 10°C above 125°C; with Tj = 165°C, life time would be about 1 or 1.5 yr; also, plastic package may be damaged quickly.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This is a pretty old answer, but I would love to see a link to literature for this. \$\endgroup\$
    – Daniel
    Commented Apr 27, 2023 at 21:12

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