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Thread: Another aging reminder

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    Blogger Bernard Murphy's Avatar
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    Another aging reminder

    Remember the Apple battery fiasco? It's not just them or just phones. All electronics ages. Latest case in point - inverters aging in Toyota Priuses or rather the solder joints under those inverters are aging. Which led Toyota to update software (sound familiar?) to reduce demand on those devices to mitigate the problem by drawing more heavily on the gas engine. Result, significantly lower mpg that those hybrid owners expected.

    Apparently not a problem (or less of a problem) for all-electric Teslas, but the tool-around-town electrics may still have a problem. Except that they don't have a gas engine to fall back on. Maybe they'll be updated to just run slower, like your old iPhone?

    Do electric cars dream of software fixes? - Difference Engine

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    Last edited by Bernard Murphy; 04-23-2018 at 12:24 PM.
     

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    Admin Daniel Nenni's Avatar
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    That really is a concern for me when talking about autonomous cars. We generally keep our cars for about 10 years and we keep our iPhones for 1-2 years. The National average for new car ownership seems to increase every year and is close to 6 years according to Kelly Blue Book. But the average life of a vehicle is at an all time high of 10.8 years which matches us since we buy new cars or very close to new.

    Are you really comfortable putting your life in the hands of 10 year old semiconductors?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Nenni View Post

    Are you really comfortable putting your life in the hands of 10 year old semiconductors?
    More than in five yeas time on five years old semiconductors .....
    It is a phenomenon already obseved and documented in industries like power generation and aeronautics that, while reliability increase with new nodes, lifetime get shorter. The bathtub curve has become an hockey stick one with the corner happening progressively earlier.

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    Blogger Daniel Payne's Avatar
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    Poor solder joints on the Prius inverters kind of reminds me of the poor solder joints on my 2011 MacBook Pro, prompting a class action lawsuit against Apple, then Apple finally caved to unhappy customers and offered a free repair program, although both of my repaired MacBook Pro's only lasted a few months and then failed again. At Intel I remember that we had to run reliability tests on DRAM chips by literally baking them in ovens to accelerate and predict how long they would last at the specified temperature ranges. We called the process "burn-in" and when you reached a high enough reliability level then you GOBI (Got Out of Burn In), quite the milestone for volume production readiness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Nenni View Post
    Are you really comfortable putting your life in the hands of 10 year old semiconductors?
    If not, then maybe best to not drive your car anymore. A lot of cars are already drive-by-wire, e.g. done by semiconductors.
    Also most nuclear and chemical plants are driven by semiconductors with age above 10 years...

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    Admin Daniel Nenni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Staf_Verhaegen View Post
    If not, then maybe best to not drive your car anymore. A lot of cars are already drive-by-wire, e.g. done by semiconductors.
    Also most nuclear and chemical plants are driven by semiconductors with age above 10 years...
    Our cars are not autonomous. We do have cameras and beep proximity sensors. We have GPS which we no longer use because our iPhones do a much better job. We also have alerts when something has gone wrong or scheduled maintenance. My Porsche says: Go to your workshop!

    So yes I am comfortable with semiconductors in my current cars. Autonomous cars are another story. I guess I am much less comfortable being an early adopter with devices that can kill me.

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