Synaptics, the California-based mobile component manufacturer, announced the mass production of its optical in-display fingerprint sensors on Tuesday with a "top five OEM". Synaptics will hold a live demo for the technology on a "full-production, soon to announced Tier 1 customer phone" at CES 2018 next month. For now, it remains uncertain which company Synaptics has partnered with.
The new Synaptics Clear ID in-display fingerprint sensors are developed for smartphones with "infinity displays", referring to the taller-than-usual 18:9 aspect ratio that's being more commonly used by mobile manufacturers in the past year. Synaptics claims that its Clear ID FS9500 range of in-display fingerprint sensors will be faster than biometric alternatives like 3D facial recognition.
The new Clear ID sensors will work exclusively with OLED displays. Synaptics says that the sensor can work under layers up to 1.5 mm thick, including a screen protector, the cover glass and the actual OLED screen. The manufacturer also claims that the new Clear ID FS9500 range will be as efficient as the current Clear ID FS9100 used on the Samsung Galaxy S8. It works with wet, dry, and cold fingers, Synaptic said.
We had previously reported, in February this year, that Synaptics was ready to start supplying "on-screen fingerprint sensors" to smartphone vendors globally. With Tuesday's announcement, Synaptics has revealed it is also working with one of the "top 5 OEM" in the market. As we mentioned, this statement is rather vague - as per IDC, in Q3 2017, the top 5 OEMs in terms of shipments were Samsung, Apple, Huawei, Oppo, and Xiaomi. It is probably on the Android manufacturers on that list.
"Consumers prefer fingerprint authentication on the front of the phone, and with the industry quickly shifting to bezel-free OLED infinity displays, the natural placement of the fingerprint sensor is in the display itself," said Kevin Barber, senior vice president and general manager, Mobile Division, Synaptics. "Synaptics' Clear ID fingerprint sensors are faster, more convenient, and more secure than alternative biometrics, and this optical technology represents a major innovation shift and opportunity for the smartphone market."
The new in-display fingerprint sensors have Synaptics' proprietary SentryPoint security technology. SentryPoint offers a wide range of authentication features like Quantum Matcher for adaptive fingerprint template matching and authentication; PurePrint anti-spoof technology to examine fingerprint images; and SecureLink which combines support for TLS protocol with ECC authentication and AES encryption.
In June this year, Qualcomm in partnership with Vivo had demoed a similar technology called Under Display Fingerprint Scanning Solution. Currently, this technology is in the prototyping phase and no Vivo smartphone has it yet.