Synaptics says its under-glass fingerprint sensor technology will see an in-display deployment in a mobile device this year.
The company first announced its Natural ID FS9100 sensor line at the end of last year. It’s an optical fingerprint sensor that Synaptics says can scan through a full millimeter of cover glass. At the time of its announcement, Synaptics highlighted its suitability for under-glass applications; but with various major sensor makers and smartphone OEMs having pursued in-display fingerprint sensor technology in the ensuing months, it appears that Synaptics has found a way to apply its technology in this kind of configuration as well.
The company has made its claim in a statement announcing that its FS9100 sensor line has been named a CES 2018 Innovation Awards Honoree. “By utilizing optical fingerprint technology with smartphones, OEMs can eliminate home buttons and extend displays to the edges or significantly reduce bezels,” the company said, adding, “Synaptics is currently sampling its third-generation optical solution for in-display fingerprint authentication to select customers with mass production with a Tier 1 OEM expected in the current calendar year.”
The news comes almost immediately after Fingerprint Cards’ announcement that it has developed viable in-display fingerprint sensor technology, and several months after Qualcomm made its own such claims. Both FPC’s and Qualcomm’s solutions are based on ultrasonic sensor technology, using sound waves to pass through display components and produce a map of a user’s fingerprint. Synaptics, meanwhile, says its FS9100 sensors are “optical-based”.
While Apple is currently seeking to establish infrared facial recognition as the gold standard for mobile biometric authentication with the Face ID system of its iPhone X, other companies appear to be intent on pioneering in-display fingerprint recognition, with Samsung expected to include such technology in its next Note device for 2018. Multiple other smartphone companies recently established partnerships with Qualcomm that could bring them access to its in-display technology.
For its part, Synaptics says it will showcase its entire user interface portfolio at a private suite during CES, which will run from January 9th to 12th, 2018, in Las Vegas.
November 13, 2017 – by Alex Perala