Infineon and Qualcomm have teamed up to develop a reference design for a new 3D authentication system. The system is built with Infineon’s REAL3 3D Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensor, and is based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Mobile Platform.
The news comes shortly after the two companies unveiled a new 3D image sensor with VGA resolution at CES 2020. Smartphone manufacturers can deploy the 3D VGA to enable facial recognition (and other applications) on their devices.
“3D sensors enable new uses and additional applications such as secured authentication or payment by facial recognition,” said Infineon Power Management & Multimarket Division President Andreas Urschitz. “The collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies underscores the potential and our ambitions in this area.”
It’s not yet clear how device manufacturers will choose to take advantage of the new reference design. For now, Infineon’s REAL3 ToF sensor will simply be used to provide a video bokeh optimization function for 5G smartphones. The feature will be available as of March 2020.
Infineon’s ToF technology is developed in collaboration with the software specialist pmdtechnologies. The two companies first announced that they were working on a 3D image sensor back in January of 2018, and went on to place a 3D ToF sensor in LG’s G8 ThinQ smartphone approximately one year later. That particular device supports hand vein biometrics in addition to facial recognition. IDEMIA has also partnered with Infineon and pmd in an effort to refine its facial recognition capabilities.
In the meantime, Qualcomm has partnered with the BASF subsidiary Trinamix to promote the latter’s facial recognition solution for Android devices. The tech giant is currently facing an anti-trust investigation in Europe, where the company is accused of using anti-competitive tactics to boost the sales for its new radio frequency front-end chip. Qualcomm could face hundreds of millions of dollars in fines if the European Union determines that there was a violation.
March 11, 2020 – by Eric Weiss