Synaptics Perfects In-Display Fingerprint Sensors For Next Gen Smartphones

While Apple may be grabbing the [biometric] headlines with its Face ID authentication system in the iPhone X, one company is looking to enhance existing fingerprint sensors for a new generation of flagship smartphones. Synaptics announced that it has perfected an under-the-display fingerprint scanner with what it calls Clear ID Optical Sensors.

synaptics clear id finge

These are the world's fingerprint sensors of its kind to enter mass production for smartphones. Synaptics says that it will have branded smartphones available for demos at CES 2018 and that mass production will start with a top five OEM. The Clear ID FS9500 family is specifically designed for smartphones with bezel-free displays.

synaptics clear id senso

The sensor activates only when needed and promises to be faster than 3D facial scanning. The sensor can deliver one-touch high-resolution scanning through the full cover glass and enables a sleek, button free and bezel-free display without having to move the fingerprint scanner to the back or side of a smartphone.

Synaptics claims that the Clear ID optical fingerprint sensor will work with wet, dry, and cold fingers, while the sensor is protected by the smartphone glass making it durable, scratchproof, and waterproof. Synaptics uses SentryPoint technology with the sensor that brings Quantum Matcher for adaptive fingerprint template matching and authentication. PurePrint tech is an anti-spoofing technology that examines fingerprint images with AI to tell the difference between spoofs and actual fingers. SecureLink uses TLS protocol with ECC authentication and AES encryption. 

"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."

Along with the new Clear ID sensor, Synaptics also has a pair of new ClearView OLED display driver ICs that support extra long 20:9 displays, notches, and rounded corners. The R66455 supports FHD+ and the R66451 supports WQHD+. The OLED DDICs also support high brightness mode, DeMura and IR drop compensation technologies, multiple sub-pixel rendering technologies, and more. Full production of these OLED DDICs is expected in the first-half of 2018 and they are sampling today.