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IDEX launches low-power fingerprint sensor for contactless smartcards


IDEX has launched a flexible, low-power fingerprint sensor designed to be used in contactless smartcards operating with standard NFC terminals.

Designed specifically for proven standard mass production processes, the fingerprint sensor has power management capabilities which can be used in a biometric card without a battery.

“The launch of our new low power sensor enables a new generation of commercially viable contactless biometric cards,” said Dr. Hemant Mardia, CEO of IDEX. “This solution significantly expands our market opportunity driven by the convenience for consumers of using dual interface cards combined with biometrics and secures our position at the forefront of this large-scale opportunity.”

The new fingerprint sensor is now sampling with a European top-tier card integrator. Additionally, IDEX has expanded customer engagement in response to strong interest and expects several major Asian card integrators to commence sampling during Q3 2017.

In February 2016, IDEX launched its flexible touch fingerprint sensor for ISO form factor cards, operating with standard contact based POS readers.

The new low power card sensor, building on the recently launched ASIC and leveraging the company’s unique and patented off-chip technology, is a result of extensive research, development and implementation experience.

With a silicon footprint of just one-eighth of a comparable 100 square mm silicon sensor, the sensor has a significant cost advantage without compromising a large sensing area to deliver an exceptional user experience.

The sensor is made of a polymer material to ensure flexibility, while its use of an established mass volume packaging ecosystem allows the sensor to comply with ISO standards for card mechanical robustness.

The new ASIC is using TSMC’s advanced foundry processes to deliver highly-efficient power management and improved performance.

Meanwhile, the architecture features digital intelligence with an onboard ARM microcontroller enabling optimum systems partitioning for security and biometric performance in a resource-constrained contactless card.

“We have collaborated with major global partners including Mastercard and OT-Morpho to create and qualify mass deployable biometric smart card solutions delivering world-class performance,” said Dr. Mardia. “Following the positive reactions from users in trials in South Africa we have received significant interest across our target payment market and additional card verticals. I see this a strong validation of our value proposition for fingerprint sensors for cards and a market-changing opportunity.”

Sampling of IDEX’s new sensor has commenced in Q2 2017 as unveiled in previous communications, and is expected to be ready for volume production in H2 2017.

IDEX recently issued the financial results for Q1 2017 in which it reported revenues of NOK 6.7 million (US$0.78 million), up from NOK 3.6 million (US$0.42 million) in Q1 2016.

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