When compared to the electronic systems in industries like commercial and industrial equipment, today’s avionics systems face several unique challenges. In addition to operating in rugged environments for long periods of time, they must also satisfy rigorous safety and reliability standards. Most importantly, unlike other industries, they must meet these standards while using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) semiconductor devices (logic, memory, etc.) and electronic assemblies that have been designed and qualified for other applications with less rigorous requirements.
Modern electronics have continued in the pattern of Moore’s Law which has decreased transistor size and increased performance. This necessitates development of faster, smaller ICs with greatly reduced power dissipation. However, the increased number of transistors in smaller spaces causes higher power density which can lead to higher failure rates, shorter device lifetimes and unanticipated early device wearout.