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The infant mortality rates for ICs and other components have been a major concern throughout the electronics industry. Operational Life Testing was developed by AT&T to continuously monitor the early-life failure levels of various electonic component product families at the manufacturing plant. Rapid failure-mode analysis of OLT defects and implementation of the indicated process, testing, and design changes have in resuled in significant savings and enhanced component reliability. OLT could also be applied to incoming components by a system manufacturer.