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The once-ephemeral radiation-induced soft error has become a key threat to advanced commercial electronic components and systems. Left unchallenged, soft errors have the potential for inducing the highest failure rate of all other reliability mechanisms combined. This article briefly reviews the types of failure modes for soft errors, the three dominant radiation mechanisms responsible for creating soft errors in terrestrial applications, and how these soft errors are generated by the collection of radiation-induced charge. The soft error sensitivity as a function of technology scaling for various memory and logic components is then presented with a consideration of which applications are most likely to require soft error mitigation.