Rather than use one of the few readily available off-the-shelf fingerprint scanners that can be integrated into a smartphone display, Apple’s iPhone 8 will sport biometric fingerprint recognition via a custom-designed sensor, also embedded into the display. In addition, according to DigiTimes’ report Friday, the built-in fingerprint sensor inside iPhone 8 will replace Apple’s capacitive-based Touch ID fingerprint reader, as previously rumored. The handset is expected to enter mass production in September, claimed industry sources cited in the report.
As per the report, iPhone 8 won’t use solutions like the Natural ID touch fingerprint sensor from Synaptics or Qualcomm’s Sense ID fingerprint scanning technology.
Instead, the phone will sport Apple’s own algorithm based on its 2012 AuthenTec purchase that paved the way for Touch ID technology, as we know it today. That proprietary algorithm is said to rely on Privaris glass identification technology and biometric authentication systems such as ultrasound, according to industry sources.
Prior rumors have indicated that rather than replace Touch ID completely, iPhone 8 should combine fingerprint scanning and advanced facial recognition into a more secure two-step biometric verification system.
Currently, Touch ID uses both a capacitive sensor that scans the finger touching the Home button and ultrasonic waves that read sub-epidermal skin layers. The new sensor for iPhone 8 should be manufactured on TSMC’s twelve-inch line using its 65-nanometer process technology (TSMC has been churning out existing Touch ID sensors).
“Production for the new OLED iPhone is unlikely to start until September due to the redesigned fingerprint ID solution,” said the report. As for the iterative LCD-based iPhone 7s and iPhone 7s Plus updates, they’ll enter volume production in July.
It’s unclear from the report if the new sensor is limited to the rumored function area (imagined on images top of post) located at the bottom of iPhone 8’s display.
Apple recently patented a solution that turns the entire screen into a fingerprint reader to keep the user automatically authenticated as he or she interacts with the touchscreen. It’s too early to tell if that technology will make its way into iPhone 8 because Apple often patents inventions that never see the light of day.
Be that as it may, in-screen fingerprint sensors are now a reality.
LG’s Innotek division, for example, revealed the world’s first commercial in-screen fingerprint sensor back in May 2016. As shown on the image above, cutting a shallow furrow of 0.01 inches (0.3 mm) thick on the lower backside of the cover glass has allowed LG’s engineers to install their fingerprint sensor behind the display.
Leaked images and early hands-on videos of Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S8 reveal a smartphone with a nearly full-screen front face and no physical Home button, fueling speculation that the next Galaxy flagship will have a fingerprint sensor that’s either embedded into the display or relocated to the back of the device.