Au-Sn solid–liquid interdiffusion (SLID) bonding is an established reliable high temperature (HT) die attach and interconnect technology. This article presents the life cycle of an optimized HT Au-Sn SLID bond, from fabrication, via thermal treatment, to mechanical rupture. The layered structure of a strong and uniform virgin bond was identified by X-ray diffraction to be Au/ζ (Au0.85Sn0.15)/Au. During HT exposure, it was transformed to Au/β (Au1.8Sn0.2)/Au. After HT exposure, the die shear strength was reduced by 50 pct, from 14 Pa to 70 MPa, which is still remarkably high. Fractographic studies revealed a change in fracture mode; it was changed from a combination of adhesive Au/Ni and cohesive SiC fracture to a cohesive β-phase fracture. Design rules for high quality Au-Sn SLID bonds are given.