The reliability of electronic equipment can to some extent be quantified, and a separate discipline of reliability engineering has grown up to address it. This chapter will serve as an introduction to the subject for those circuit designers who are not fortunate enough to have a reliability engineering department at their disposal.
Reliability, itself, has a strictly defined meaning. This can be stated as “the probability that a system will operate without failure for a specified period, subject to specified environmental conditions.” Thus, it can be quoted as a single number, such as 90%, but this is subject to three qualifications:
• Agreement as to what constitutes a “failure.” Many systems may ...