With smartphones going to designs that have screens covering so much of the front that the traditional fingerprint sensor can no longer fit, what to do with those sensors is a topic that manufacturers have been working on. Apple removed the fingerprint scanner for its iPhone X and instead opted for Face ID technology. Samsung has a fingerprint scanning system that will go into the Galaxy S10 that is very non-traditional.
The company has seemingly confirmed that it will use a fingerprint scanner that is embedded in the screen of the smartphone. This scanner will reportedly use Qualcomm ultrasonic fingerprint scanner tech. It uses ultrasonic waves that change in intensity and position to read the fingerprint.
Qualcomm's sensor is embedded into the back of the OLED panel thanks to the ability of ultrasonic waves to transmit through objects. The sensors are capable of penetrating 1200 µm display stacks, 800 µm cover glass, and 600 µm of aluminum. Samsung reportedly chose that ultrasonic technology because the sensor isn’t exposed to the outside of the device and has less influence on panel structure and image quality.
Industry sources claim that Samsung has been researching in-display fingerprint scanners since the Galaxy S8 was in the planning phase. Qualcomm's sensor is expected to be based on Snapdragon Sense ID. Details on the Galaxy S10 have been leaking out for a while now; back in February the S10 was claimed to be using a Snapdragon 855 and 2Gbps X24 modem. In early May of this year, the first rumblings of an in-display fingerprint reader surfaced. Rumors continue to maintain that the Galaxy S10 will be unveiled at CES 2019 in January and that the folding Galaxy X is tipped for unveiling at MWC 2019.