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Penang USM students take lead with Internet of Things, Intel says

AvantiKumar | Sept. 2, 2014
Universiti Sains Malaysia is among 17 Universities around the world selected to pioneer Intel Galileo curriculum development programme.

USM students - IoT modified 

Photo - Some of the second year students from USM's School of Computer Sciences who designed a Motion Sensor Light


Penang based Universiti Sains Malaysia [USM] students are among the first among to master the Internet of Things [IoT] using semiconductor firm Intel's Galileo development boards.

Second year School of Computer Sciences students created high tech solutions for everyday problems in the Galileo curriculum development programme, said USM's School of Computer Sciences head of the Parallel and Distributed Processing Research Group, Prof Dr Rosni.

"Our aim is to fully embed the Intel Galileo development boards into the appropriate courses within our curriculum," said Prof Rosni. "The initial plan was to start the programme in the new academic year which begins in September 2014. However after taking into consideration the high level of interest demonstrated by our students, we went ahead to introduce the Intel Galileo boards ahead of schedule in February to a batch of our second year students."

"While the solutions proposed by our students based on these development boards, which include a bus tracking system and motion activated lights may seem deceptively simple, this only goes to underline our belief that the ubiquity of computing technology in everyday lives is on its way to coming full circle," said Prof Rosni. "I for one am glad that our students were given the opportunity to test out these waters ahead of many of their peers and excited to see what other issues our students can set out to solve with technology."

Christopher Kelly, general manager of Intel's Malaysia Design Center, said that Intel Galileo was the first in a line of Arduino-compatible development boards based on Intel architecture and was designed for the maker and education communities. Upon its announcement in October 2013, Intel also said that it will work closely with the Arduino community to bring better performance and scalability to their projects.

Kelly said programme included a large-scale donation of 50,000 Intel Galileo boards to 1,000 universities around the world with Intel initially collaborating with 17 universities worldwide to develop curriculum based on the new Intel Galileo board.

 Taking the IoT lead

"Intel Galileo features the Intel Quark SoC X1000, the first from the Intel Quark technology family of low-power, small-core products," he said. "This is the technology that will extend Intel architecture into rapidly growing areas - from the Internet of Things to wearable computing in the future.

During a Multimedia Development Corporation [MDeC] media roundtable in June this year, he outlined a broad vision for the Internet of Things in Malaysia, adding that Malaysia has the potential to make significant contributions to the IoT economy and ecosystem.

"If we're serious in taking the lead where the Internet of Things is concerned, there really is no better place to start than in the very seats of innovation itself - our universities," Kelly said.  "With the inclusion of the Intel Galileo boards as a practical element in their curriculum, our students will be given the opportunity to foster their skills in creating Intel Architecture compatible wearables and other "Internet of Things" devices."

"The possible applications for this state-of-the-art technology are endless; ranging from emerging wearables as well as various industrial, commercial and medical applications," he said. "While this collaboration is a natural extension to our long-standing higher education collaboration between Intel and USM, it is our hope that this curriculum will also be deployed in universities with Computer Sciences or Computer Engineering programs throughout Malaysia."

Following the students' success, Intel Malaysia and USM recently concluded a half day workshop on the Intel Galileo Curriculum program to 45 faculty members from 25 other institutions of higher learning including Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Multimedia University, Universiti Putra Malaysia and Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman.. 

Intel Internet of Things Group (IOTG) in Malaysia is one of two offshore sites for Intel Corporation, and the largest IOTG site outside of the United States. Intel IOTG in Malaysia offers the full spectrum of development capabilities for SoC (System-on-a-Chip) covering architectural design, pre- and post-silicon validations to market enabling activities for embedded markets.


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