Electronics technology is helping farmers and gardeners make more effective use of water by determining when it's time to turn on irrigation equipment. The Acclima Digital TDT Soil Moisture Sensor reads the absolute volumetric water content along with soil temperature and soil conductivity. The instrument converts its many digital inputs to analog output using an increasingly common technology, incorporating the converters onto a microcontroller. Texas Instruments' MSP430F155 holds two DACs that are integral to the digitizing function. That integration helps keep current draw under 15 µA, letting the sensors run for two years on standard alkaline cells.
Researchers at the University of Maryland have achieved a first in lithium-ion battery science: the development of a successful lithium-based battery using one material for all three core components of a battery -- anode, cathode, and electrolyte.
The online Bar Steel Fatigue Database for automotive design engineers has been updated for the fifth time and now contains 134 iterations, or grade/process combinations. It provides better predictability for designing parts with long-term reliability and durability.
FPGAs use programmable fabric to create custom logic, but this flexibility comes at a cost -- usually around 10 times more silicon real estate and 10 times the power dissipation. Can we really claim any FPGA is low power?
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.