Wasn't paying attention to this thread but more about, what I called, silicon rusting.
True silicon does not rust. My beetle rusts as it is it's primairy occupation.
However I was told silicon in plastic housing is able to oxidize (did I spell that correctly) or something. At least it can react to air reaching the silicon. Problems can occur when electricity goes through paths that are slightly damaged. The current wears the path out while it goes throug it and in time it will give. You can compare it to bad wiring. The wire suddenly gives. So can the (rusted/oxidized/dameged by air) silicon.
Anyway that is what they (IC designers) told me. I have never seen an oxidized IC under my microscope. I have seen ESD damaged IC's. Spectacular damages (in a microscopic perspective). Anyway ceramic housings seem to be better for durability.
This is what I know about it. When I have some unidentified tasks to do at work I will look into this some more because I'm sure this silicon oxidizing thing was told to me so I better check if its for real.
Any IC expers on this board (not including any doommaster alter ego) that know something about this?