Connect with us

What is the approximate working life of a Microcontroller ?

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by peter, Apr 3, 2004.

Scroll to continue with content
  1. peter

    peter Guest

    No, it's not a rhetorical question. I'm looking to use a PICAXE or
    similar Micro controller in an application and I'm trying to find out
    an approximate working life to see if the application will be
    reliable. There won't be anything much going on in terms of running
    its program. It will operate four solenoids, one at a time for
    approximately 4 seconds each, in a sequence separated by about 30
    seconds before operating the next. ie the basic program will simply be
    output to a certain pin briefly, followed by a 30s pause and so on.

    In between this basic cycle I'm looking to provide a brief flurry of
    approximately 10 seconds of pulses to drive a device drawing
    approximately 300 mamps. However the pulses will be approximately 40
    per second and the device will be running continuously at these
    sequences for about 12 hours a day.ie in any given day there will be
    approximately 1500 of these pulse sequences and also about the same
    number of operations of the solenoids.

    Has anyone had any exposure to running these cheap Micro controllers
    for continuous periods to know approximately how long they may last
    and continue to be reliable ie able to continuously execute the
    program without errors? They are designed for a hobby and educational
    applications but are tthey able to be applied reliably in a more
    practical sense?
     
  2. John Jardine

    John Jardine Guest

    As long as the power supplies are good then the things keep on running.
    Critical applications may care to facilitate themselves of an auto-restart
    circuit ('watchdog'), but general reliability is same as (or better) than
    standard logic components.
    The 'Pioneer' probe electronics are still at it after maybe 30 years of
    unattended operation.
    Heat will kill micros. transients will kill micros. Design 'em out and
    forget about any 'working life' aspects
    regards
    john
     
  3. soundman

    soundman Guest

    Take a close look at the driving and operation of the solenoids. These will
    be the weak points of the system and the ones that will fail if anything is
    going to.

    The electronics, based on a PIC should work for a lot longer than you will
    be around. My own experience is that PICs have a life of greater than 18000
    hours. This is beacuse the first batch we used and installed have been
    running continually for 2 years or so. Ask me again one year from now and
    I'll be able to tell you the life is greater than 27000 hours. I am
    conviced that the electronics will outlast the mechanical parts of your
    assembly by a huge margin.
     
  4. Jamie

    Jamie Guest

    just do not run the outputs to max current all the time.
    run no more than 50% of rated currents and keep it in a some what
    normal temp and it should at last you!
     
  5. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Ever seen a video game arcade?

    The power levels and switching rate of the load(s) shouldn't
    have any effect at all on the microprocessor; if they do,
    then the circuit is poorly designed. As long as the micro
    is run within spec, it should last on average the published
    MTBF, and theoretically indefinitely, or until the dopants
    diffuse through the chips so bad that they won't transist
    any more.

    Has anybody _ever_ seen any solid state electronics just "wear
    out?"

    Thanks,
    Rich
     
  6. Seth Koster

    Seth Koster Guest

    The power levels and switching rate of the load(s) shouldn't
    I was taught that any solid state device would last approximately 115
    years before the dopants became to diffused.
     
Ask a Question
Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?
You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.
Electronics Point Logo
Continue to site
Quote of the day

-