Re: Redlining memory? Buhahahaha! Not a chance.
This is possible because semiconductor structures on silicon can wear out due to metal migration based on current densities and temperature. This causes their switching characteristics to change or degrade over time. Device Mean-Time-To-Failure (MTTF) is typically characterized using the arrhenius equation where higher device temperature results in shorter life.
In a CMOS transistor structure, most power is dissipated when switching logic states. Power translates into heat. As operating frequency is increased, the transistors switch more often in less time causing more heat, which will accelerate wearout.
It used to be the characteristic life of a device could be a 100 years or more, but with operating frequencies now in the GHz levels and device feature sizes shrunk to pack more transistors into less real estate, the design margins have shrunk to the point where characteristic lifetimes are reduced to a decade or two and greatly shortened by overclocking.
Yes, I am a reliability engineer.