Iridium is one of the main electrode materials for applications like neural stimulation. Iridium has a higher charge injection capacity when activated and transformed into AIROF (activated iridium oxide film) using specific electrical signals. Activation is not possible in stimulating devices, if they do not include the necessary circuitry for activation. We introduce a method for iridium electrode activation requiring minimum additional on-chip hardware. In the main part, the lifetime behavior of iridium electrodes is investigated. These results may be interesting for applications not including on-chip activation hardware, and also because activation has drawbacks such as worse mechanical properties and reproducibility of AIROF.