Zwipe prototypes contactless power harvesting and management ASIC for biometric payments
Zwipe has launched a combined power harvesting and management chip for biometric payment systems on cards, wearables, and other devices, which it says is an industry-first. The company has successfully manufactured a prototype of its application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) Z5 chip, which features Zwipe’s proprietary energy harvesting IP.
By consolidating the contactless energy harvesting and power management components in a single chip, Zwipe says the Z5 reduces cost and improves the power efficiency, as well as the ease of manufacturing with embedded biometric solutions. The company plans for the new proprietary technology to be a key commercial element of its payment products.
“This is an important milestone for the company, and a key part of Zwipe’s Generation NxT initiative focusing on cost reduction and supply-chain readiness to improve our competitiveness and facilitate our go-to-market and scale-up capacity,” notes Zwipe CEO André Løvestam. “Over the coming months, Zwipe will complete verification and qualification. Commercial samples are planned for release mid-2020, at that stage mass production can start.”
Zwipe is racing to commercialize its biometric payment card technology, recently delivering the first order of its second-generation biometric inlay to a card manufacturing customer and signing an exclusive partnership with Idemia to co-invest in a platform to bring the technology to market.
A grant awarded late last year by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 program provided partial funding for the new component’s development.
Zwipe will sell the Z5 chip both as a single component and as part of its biometric inlay embedded system.