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Infant Mortality

/in-fənt mȯr-ˈta-lə-tē/

n. It is common lore among hackers that the chances of sudden hardware failure drop off exponentially with a machine's time since power-up (that is, until the relatively distant time at which enough mechanical wear in I/O devices and thermal-cycling stress in components has accumulated for the machine to start going senile). Up to half of all chip and wire failures happen within a new system's first few weeks; such failures are often referred to as 'infant mortality' problems (or, occasionally, as 'sudden infant death syndrome').

See bathtub curve, burn-in period.