At last month’s technology summit, Qualcomm unveiled a cool feature, a new fingerprint sensor called 3D Sonic Max. The 3D Sonic Max is boosted to 20mm by 30mm (16 times larger) compared to an earlier sensor scheme that is only the size of “Sesame Dot” (4mm x 9mm). Because of the detection method, the actual area of action is actually larger than the area indicated by the box. The 3D Sonic Max also supports two-finger detection after getting rid of the sensor’s too small troubles.
(Image via AnandTech)
Modern smartphones already generally support fingerprint unlocking, and manufacturers often embed sensors under the screen or place them on the back of the fuselage, but a few models are arranged on the side of the fuselage. In terms of ease of use, the off-screen fingerprint scheme is clearly the best.
But the biggest problem is that the area that the sensor can detect is too small, causing the user to place the finger in the exact area. Sometimes even deviations from 2 to 3 mm can cause the unlock to be slow or even fail.
At present, the market common under-screen fingerprint scheme, divided into optical and ultrasonic two categories. The former relies on light to detect the reflection between the fingerprint and the sensor (the screen lights up when the finger is pressed) and needs to be paired with the right combination of hardware and software (e.g. predicting the press action)
The benefit of ultrasonic fingerprinting is that light is not required to participate. It is detected by ultrasonic rebound signals directly to the finger, and the theory is even better in terms of safety.
Qualcomm’s new 3D Sonic Max solution is unique in that it’s so large that it even supports two fingerprints at the same time. Compared to the previous generation of 4mm x 9mm sensors, it has been significantly improved to 20mm x 30mm (a full 16x).
Even with only one fingerprint, the 3D Sonic Max solution is more inclusive, making it easy for users to unlock “anywhere” in the sensor-covered area.
There is no doubt that by 2020, at least one large plant will choose Qualcomm’s 3D Sonic Max ultrasonic fingerprint sensor solution.
In addition, the technology is suitable for in-vehicle platforms, such as by clicking on a large screen to complete authentication and identify who is currently driving the vehicle.