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IDEX ASIC platform suited for contactless biometric card applications


IDEX has completed development of its next generation ASIC for off-chip touch sensors, which will be the foundation for a range of new flagship products and solutions the fingerprint technology firm will launch starting this year.

“Our new ASIC has the smallest footprint of any chip we have ever introduced, while simultaneously delivering an impressive combination of enhanced performance and reduced power consumption at an extremely attractive price point direct from foundry,” explained Dr Hemant Mardia, IDEX CEO. “Designed to be flexible across multiple product applications and market segments, the chip’s low power consumption make it ideally suited for contactless card applications which is a strong focus area for IDEX. The successful first time right completion of the ASIC is a significant strategic milestone for IDEX and is the result of an intensive investment program. The fingerprint images from our first touch sensors incorporating this ASIC are achieving excellent metrics.”

IDEX has partnered with TSMC as the foundry for volume manufacturing of the ASIC. TSMC customers include Apple, Qualcomm and Mediatek. This relationship provides IDEX customers with significant capacity from a world-leading semiconductor producer, at the highest quality levels and with advanced features.

By leveraging an advanced process to implement its newest solution, IDEX is able to achieve system integration advantages that differentiate the company’s off chip fingerprint sensors from traditional silicon sensors while also dramatically reducing system cost. The ASIC is a system-on-chip and features a fast on-board microcontroller with large memory size and a companion encryption engine, all with a die size 1/3 to 1/5 the size of comparable silicon sensors. Software programmability enables IDEX to leverage this versatile chip as a common platform for multiple sensor solutions across IDEX’s end markets.

According to a company statement, this ASIC has been inserted into new fingerprint sensor products, which will be ready for sampling in the second quarter of 2017 and for mass production during the second half of 2017.

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