IDT Wireless Modules to Power Intelligent Street Lighting Projects in Malaysia

Integrated Device Technology (IDT) is conducting two intelligent street lighting projects in Malaysia. Inspired by a demonstration of the intelligent lighting system in IDT’s Malaysian office, the Collaborative Research in Engineering, Science and Technology (CREST), an industry-led organization focused on the advancement of the electronics industry, initiated a proof of concept collaborative project with IDT to conduct these trials to validate the advantages of intelligent street lighting. These advantages included reduced energy consumption, supporting smart city applications and making lights more interactive for residents.

The initial phase of the first project is expected to be completed by the end of this year and involves upgrading 92 streetlights in the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone in the Malaysian state of Penang. Making the streetlights intelligent requires outfitting each with weather-proof 6 LoWPAN wireless mesh network modules and replacing their outdated sodium vapor bulbs with lamps comprised of much more energy efficient and dimmable light emitting diodes (LEDs). The IDT wireless modules provide reliable connectivity to the city’s IT cloud infrastructure, enabling staff to completely control and continuously monitor the lights.

The second project involves upgrading 36 luminaires in a parking area of the University of Science Malaysia (USM) in Penang. University students will use the upgraded streetlights to test a variety of smart city applications, including asset management and fleet management.

Malaysian officials are also considering giving the streetlights additional capabilities, such as automatically turning on when people approach an area. This would be accomplished by the lights using modern artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to discriminate between people, animals and vehicles – even in low light conditions – rather than relying on the cloud. This approach ensures that lights provide illumination immediately, rather than experiencing a delay, as data is first transmitted to the cloud for processing and an activation signal is eventually sent back.

In addition, multiple lights will communicate with each other so that they illuminate the area precisely on time to ensure the lights are well lit when a pedestrian is walking down a street. Such intelligence is a major advance over simple motion sensors, enabling lights to provide continuous illumination for people when they are not moving, such as sitting at a bus stop.

According to Jaffri Ibrahim, Chief Executive Officer of CREST, with IDT’s AI and intelligent communication capabilities in street lighting, CREST intends to establish a smart cities data platform and analytics alliance through public-private partnership and the open city labs programs.

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