Reliability - A Highly Important Product Attribute for the World's Poorest Consumers (Invited)

Joseph Fjelstad
Cheetah Gear


Much has been written about the importance of making "green" electronic products. The EU's RoHS legislation was written in an effort to stem perceived environmental risk from lead in electronic solder and while RoHS ended a non existent problem, it did create a new set of problems for product developers including: greater energy use, the need for more expensive materials and reduced reliability. This will have long range effects on the world's poorest consumers. The simple fact is that while the world's wealthiest consumers can afford to purchase new product when it fails, those living on $5.00 or less a day can afford nothing less than the most reliable products that the electronics industry can make. This paper will examine ways for the electronics industry to create products for the more than four billion inhabitants of the planet who are waiting for opportunity to participate in a better future. Among the precepts that are deemed important to accomplish this important objective is to use that very same quality and reliability concepts that helped build the electronics industry in its earliest days, when reliability truly mattered.