Fingerprint sensors that are deployed in a mobile device’s touchscreen is one technology that seems to continue to allude major companies like Samsung and Apple. So far, neither of these two companies have made this happen. Neither of the two firms promised that this sort of thing would be on the market per say, but technology news sites like Softpedia and commentators on popular electronics social media pages have expected that the two would deploy it sometime in the near future.
Ironically, it seems that competition in the in-display fingerprint reader market is starting to really heat up. Taiwanese semiconductor news agency DigiTimes released a report yesterday that’s now making its way into the international media. The report started that Goodix, Silead and Fingerprint Cards (FPC) are investing heavily in developing in-display fingerprint sensors.
Samsung and Apple haven’t actively begun any products to incorporate these kinds of solutions into their devices in spite of any news to the contrary.
Ironically, DigiTimes reported that Samsung is still the biggest winner of the trend as the semiconductors used for optical and ultrasonic sensing components are manufactured by Samsung Display.
In a further ironic twist, Samsung Display also produced the OLED panel that Apple’s engineers selected for the iPhone X.
Perhaps the most interesting note is that DigiTimes’ editors listed Synaptics as among the companies that were investing in aggressive in-display fingerprint sensor development. While many end-users may not be familiar with the name Synaptics, they’re more than likely familiar with the company’s products.
Synaptics is a developer of human interface hardware based in San Jose, California. They’re one of the larger manufacturers of touchpads for laptops. They’ve also made many of the biometric technology that present generation mobile devices use, so some industry analysts may consider them a front runner for the market.
Conexant Systems, which develops voice and audio platforms for use with smart home devices, got taken over by Synaptics last year. They also acquired a multimedia company among other things, which have given them a decent foothold in the IoT market. It should be interesting to see what new mobile security products they plan to release as a result of this previous maneuvering.
Some commentators have also expressed the view that if such moves become more common, a new market niche for smaller mobile hardware developers may start to open up. Major wafer and other silicon products companies might also benefit from the need for smaller components.