The importance of power cycling as a mean of reliability assessment was revisited for flip chip plastic ball grid array (FC-PBGA) packages. Conventionally, reliability was addressed empirically through accelerated thermal cycling (ATC) because of its simplicity and conservative nature of life prediction. It was well accepted and served its role effectively for ceramic packages. In reality, an assembly is subjected to a power cycling, i.e., nonuniform temperature distribution with a chip as the only heat source and other components as heat dissipaters. This non-uniform temperature distribution and different coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) of each component make the package deform differently than the case of uniform temperature in ATC. Higher substrate CTE in a plastic package generates double curvature in the package deformation and transfers higher stresses to the solder interconnects at the end of die. This mechanism makes the solder interconnects near the end of die edge fail earlier than those of the highest distance to neutral point. This phenomenon makes the interconnect fail earlier in power cycling than ATC. Apparently, we do not see this effect (the die shadow effect) in ceramic packages. In this work, a proper power cycling analysis procedure was proposed and conducted to predict solder fatigue life. An effort was made for FC-PBGA to show the possibility of shorter fatigue life in power cycling than the one of ATC. The procedure involves computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and finite element analyses (FEA). CFD analysis was used to extract transient heat transfer coefficients while subsequent FEA–thermal and FEA–structural analyses were used to calculate temperature distribution and strain energy density, respectively.