In- and under display fingerprint sensors creates new market opportunities – Interview with Fredrik Clementson, R&D Director

“The emergence of optical and ultrasound fingerprint sensors is one of the most exciting and disruptive technology leaps within biometrics that I have seen in my ten years of working with technology development here at Precise Biometrics. This creates new market opportunities for our company”, says Fredrik Clementson, R&D Director.

Optical and ultrasound fingerprint sensors can read fingerprint images through both standard display glass and AMOLED displays, something a capacitive sensor due to the laws of physics cannot do. This enables the emergence of slick smartphones with a more user-friendly edge-to-edge display where the fingerprint sensor is placed in or under the display.

Fredrik Clementson believes that most mobile OEMs will present in- and under display solutions this year.

“Capacitive sensors are of course still the dominating technology in terms of volume. The growth pace in mobile devices with optical or ultrasound sensors will depend on how well the sensors will meet the demands from the OEMs. Beside delivering a better user experience, the biometric performance of these new sensors must be on par with capacitive sensors. This means delivering the same low rate of both false rejections and false acceptance of fingerprints without increasing latency”, says Fredrik Clementson.

The production cost of optical and ultrasound sensors is not directly correlated to their size, as with the silicon based capacitive sensors. Consequently, OEMs are not forced in the same way to make the new type of sensors as small as possible to save costs.

“Placing larger sensors in- or under edge-to-edge mobile displays will give larger images, which enables even better biometric performance. Moving the sensor in or under the display makes the unit more durable and the user experience this brings is just amazing”.

Furthermore, the introduction of wireless charging on new high-end mobile devices is another driver towards using ultrasound and optical sensors. Wireless charging will require a glass back on the device and making a cut out in the glass for a capacitive sensor is too costly compared to placing the sensor in or under the glass.

A challenge with sensors that are placed in or under display and glass are that they produce images with some degree of noise.  This demands more thorough image processing capability.
“Our software solution has the capability to filter out and reduce such noise,”, says Fredrik Clementson.

“We have accelerated the development of our fingerprint solution for mobile devices, Precise BioMatch Mobile, and continue to make improvements to ensure that we have industry leading software in terms of biometric performance and matching speed”.

“Being sensor independent, we cooperate with sensor vendors that supply all sensor technologies, which opens opportunities for us and our customers. I´m excited about the future of biometrics and look forward to seeing the market evolve over the next few years”.