Synaptics announce under-glass fingerprint reader

We have written before about Microsoft’s patents for an under-glass fingerprint reader. Now Synaptics, the leading OEMs for trackpads and fingerprint readers, has announced a new family of biometric authentication solutions that offer high-performance, highly secure optical-based fingerprint sensors for smartphones and tablets that  is capable of high-resolution scanning through 1mm of full cover glass and that therefore enables a clean, button-free industrial design.

The Natural ID FS9100 optical fingerprint sensors are designed for placement under the cover glass, including 2.5D glass, located in the front, bottom bezel of devices.  Under cover glass biometrics eliminates button cut-outs and glass thinning processes required by capacitive under-glass sensors, leading to glass yield improvements and excels with wet finger performance, and, being protected by glass, is durable, scratch proof, waterproof, and eliminates ESD concerns.

The FS9100 sensor also offers an extremely thin form factor and minimal power consumption.

Anthony Gioeli, vice president of marketing, Biometrics Product Division, Synaptics notes: “Synaptics’ FS9100 family of fingerprint sensors represent a new breed of optical fingerprint sensor technology that is designed to meet the needs of mobile devices, including the ability to image through thick 2.5D glass. In addition to opening the door to new industrial design options, it enables OEMs to provide highly durable, button-free cover glass and more easily provide water-resistant products while eliminating low yield glass processing.”

“Optical sensing technology, which is very high performance and widely proven in other markets, has many advantages such as durability, scratch resistance, and resistance to ESD, but optical has not been widely adopted in smartphones and tablets due to form factor and power consumption limitations.”, said Les Santiago, Research Director for IDC. “By bringing optical sensing technology with the right form factor and power consumption envelope to smartphones and tablets, Synaptics is enabling the elimination of the home button which is a critical next step to full top-to-bottom, edge-to-edge smartphone and tablet displays.”

The first Synaptics Natural ID FS9100 optical fingerprint sensors are scheduled to sample in early Q1 2017 with mass production in Q2 2017.

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