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Patent for ultrasonic fingerprint biometrics among thousands Huawei files each year

Patent for ultrasonic fingerprint biometrics among thousands Huawei files each year

A Huawei patent for ultrasonic fingerprint identification technology has been recently published. The patent application for CN117058725A describes “an ultrasonic fingerprint identification module, an ultrasonic fingerprint identification system and electronic equipment” that uses piezoelectric layers and stacked circuit substrates to “improve the accuracy of identifying fingerprint information.”

The move suggests Huawei may be moving to challenge Goodix, which many companies including Samsung currently rely on for ultrasonic fingerprint tech, but is restricted by Qualcomm patents, per a report in Gizmochina. An in-house ultrasonic fingerprint system would make Huawei less dependent on other manufacturers and positioned to serve the Chinese market.

According to the patent application, “compared with the optical fingerprint recognition module, the ultrasonic fingerprint recognition module is more suitable for the technical development trend that the transmittance of the current screen is continuously reduced,” because “the thickness of the ultrasonic fingerprint recognition module is thinner.”

Yet, while Huawei’s ultrasound-based system may be more spatially efficient for ever-more-wafer-thin devices and screens, there are problems. One is juice: the “penetrating power of the ultrasonic wave” is presently not enough for certain terminal screens that can cause distortion, leading to inaccuracy. Furthermore, noise is an issue: “the echo signal has a large number of signals reflected by other devices, so that the original signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) corresponding to the current fingerprint image is small, and therefore the ultrasonic fingerprint recognition module cannot accurately and effectively recognize fingerprint information.”

This is, indeed, a problem – and a technical problem the applicants at Huawei aim to solve.

Meanwhile, the Shenzhen-based company has been undeterred by U.S. sanctions and trade blacklisting over alleged national security concerns, filing more patents than any other company in the world in 2023. According to Tom’s Hardware, Huawei filed for 6,494 patents last year – 2570 more than Samsung, which came in at number 2 with 3,924 filings.

China is the world leader in patent applications, ahead of the U.S., Japan and South Korea.

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