CrucialTec in talks with smartphone maker to integrate on-display fingerprint sensor by H1 2018

In an interview with The Korea Herald, CrucialTec chairman and CEO Charles Ahn said that new smartphones will soon be able to authenticate a fingerprint on a display, instead of under it.

Since 2012, CrucialTec has been making investments for the development of its patented Display Fingerprint Solution (DFS).

Now, Ahn said the technology is “fully ready” and that his company is in talks with the “world’s leading display manufacturers to see the first smartphone with the DFS by the first half of next year.”

CrucialTec currently owns the largest number of patents related to the in-display fingerprint solution and its technologies.

In May, CrucialTec was granted a U.S. patent covering an in-display fingerprint solution designed to allow smartphone users to unlock and/or authenticate themselves by placing a finger directly on the device display.

“CrucialTec is the only company in the world which possesses all five technologies required for high-quality on-display fingerprint authentication — sensor integrated circuit (IC), chip packaging, module, algorithm, mobile firmware,” Ahn said. “The key to being able to commercialize such smartphones is to well match display panels with our sensor and drive ICs.”

The company’s DFS is built on transparent touch screen pads with a hybrid IC that processes fingerprint authentication and touch screen sensing simultaneously. Since the hybrid IC is positioned right on the display panel just under the tempered glass of the device, the accuracy of fingerprint authentication and touch screen sensing improves, Ahn said.

Strategy Analytics forecasts that there will be 1.6 billion units of low, mid-end and premium smartphones with fingerprint authentication solutions by 2020, compared to 850 million units in 2017.

“We are already feeling the needs of the market,” Ahn said. “That is why we are continuing to invest in the DFS to improve further, including developments of follow-up technologies, despite some deficits.”

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