New smartphone cover glass from AGC Asahi Glass enables fingerprint scans

AGC Asahi Glass, a manufacturer of glass, chemicals and high-tech materials, announced that it has launched a multi-thickness smartphone cover glass with a recession on its underside to accommodate a fingerprint sensor, eliminating the need to mount a separate button for fingerprint recognition.

“AGC’s one century of expertise in manufacturing advanced glass products has led to this innovative cover glass, which enables both diverse designing and robust ID authentication to help meet the increasing need for mobile security,” said Tadashi Murano, AGC’s General Manager of Applied Glass Materials General Division. “We expect our new glass to do away with sapphire-crystal power buttons without compromising the proven reliability of a one-piece cover glass.”

The new cover glass ensures resistance to water and dust, unlike sapphire-crystal buttons that can compromise design and/or waterproofing. The recessed portion is surrounded by conventional cover glass, which is too thick for sensors to detect fingerprints.

Commercial applications are already being explored by manufacturers of smartphones, IC chips and other telecommunications equipment. CrucialTec, a Korea-based mobile input solutions provider, has combined AGC’s multi-thickness glass with a fingerprint sensor, called Under Glass Biometric Track Pad (BTP), for mass production. A prototype of the device has been exhibited at the booth of CrucialTec during GSMA Mobile World Congress 2016 in Barcelona, Spain this week.

“AGC’s cover glass is perfectly suited to our sophisticated Under Glass BTP, enabling unmatched performance compared to other fingerprint sensor modules,” said Jong-Bin Kim, CrucialTec’s CEO and Representative Director. “Going forward, we expect continued technical collaboration between our companies to lead to further synergy in developing high-quality solutions for fingerprint recognition.”

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