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Synaptics debuts the very first under-glass fingerprint sensor for smartphones

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Synaptics, known for revolutionizing human interface solutions announced a set of optical-based fingerprint sensors for our smartphones and tablets. The new biometric authentication has been named “Natural ID FS9100”  and is first of its kind.

Synaptics was founded by well-recognized scientists Federico Faggin and Carver Mead back in 1986. For the past 30 years, the company is committed to constantly infusing technology with intuitiveness. From developing the world’s first touchpad to first capacitive-touch phone, company progressively strives in touch technology. And now, it looks forward to effortless human-machine interaction, new technologies and opportunities.

Speaking about the fingerprint sensors FS9100, they are designed for placement under the cover glass, including 2.5D glass, located in the front, bottom bezel of device as they are capable of high-resolution scanning even through 1mm of full cover glass.  This biometrics tech eliminates button cut-outs and glass thinning processes required by capacitive under-glass sensors, leading to glass yield improvements.

Anthony Gioeli of Synaptics comments upon the new sensor technology:

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.

Apart from being scratchproof, waterproof and highly durable, FS9100 offers extremely thin form factor and minimal power consumption. The sensors are developed using the latest technologies such as SentryPoint, offering OEMs, Quantum Matcher which provide highly secure and unique authentication alongside PurePrint, which is an antiproof technology. All of them developed and trademarked under Synaptics.

These fingerprint sensors have been developed with a vision to eradicate the bulky homescreen buttons from our smartphones and tablets. The sensors are backed up by optical sensing technology offering much needed features such as durability, scratch resistance, and resistance to ESD. It will also lead to development of button-less phones with innovative and best touch technology.

Les Santiago, Research Director from Synaptics talks about revolutionizing smartphones and tablets:

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.

Synaptics is already a global leader in capacitive sensing technology, and is well positioned to continue to lead in fingerprint biometric technologies with its existing capacitive sensor technology portfolio and newly announced optical fingerprint sensor offerings for both flagship and mainstream smartphones and tablets.” 

Synaptics would be releasing samples of this technology in the first quarter of 2017 whereas mass production is scheduled for the second quarter of the year. We can now expect full glass phones in coming years as the company has certainly leveraged the optical technology. And the rumors of Samsung Galaxy S8 being a complete glass-housed phone with no prominent home button could definitely prove to be true.

Simran is The Tech Portal’s newest member, and has a keen interest in covering enterprise tech and app tech. She reports from our HQ @ Jaipur, India.


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