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infant mortality

infant mortality: n. It is common lore among hackers (and in the
   electronics industry at large; this term is possibly techspeak by
   now) that the chances of sudden hardware failure drop off
   exponentially with a machine's time since first use (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.