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Qualcomm Announces New Fingerprint Biometrics for Mobile

Today, Qualcomm announced their next generation of fingerprint biometric technology for mobile devices. Their announcement was made during the Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2017 event. Qualcomm Fingerprint Sensors are a significant update to their previous Qualcomm Snapdragon Sense ID fingerprint technology.

The sensors will be available in multiple forms of hardware, including display, glass, and metal varieties. The display sensor version actually goes directly underneath a smartphone or tablet's touchscreen. The first devices to use their technology are expected to launch in the first half of 2018.

Notably, Qualcomm's new ultrasonic scanning system will be able to detect a user's heartbeat and bloodflow. The feature mitigates against fingerprint biometric authentication attacks that use methods such as imprinting a gummy bear with a target's fingerprint marks.

Qualcomm Fingerprint Sensors can be activated even when a device's screen is turned off. The new technology even works underwater. The new biometric system will work with the currently available Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 and 660 platforms, and will also work with future Snapdragon 200, 400, 600, and 800 platforms. The company even plans to expand their new fingerprint technology to non-Snapdragon CPUs.

“We are excited to announce Qualcomm Fingerprint Sensors because they can be designed to support sleeker, cutting-edge form factors, unique mobile authentication experiences, and enhanced security authentication. This provides OEMs and operators with the ability to offer truly distinct, differentiated devices with added value on truly groundbreaking new devices,” said Seshu Madhavapeddy of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

The display version of their new fingerprint sensors will be the first commercially announced multifunctional ultrasonic solution for mobile devices that can scan through OLED display stacks of up to 1200µm. The glass sensors can scan through up to 800 µm of cover glass, and the metal sensors can scan through up to 650 µm of aluminum.

Qualcomm is set to release their new sensors to OEMs starting this month, to facilitate the debut of devices with Qualcomm Fingerprint Sensors in 2018.

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