Qualcomm Eyes Improved Under-Display Fingerprint Performance With Larger Sensor-news

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Qualcomm has a new fingerprint sensor, the 3D Sonic Sensor Gen 2, which may help improve under-display fingerprint performance in the Samsung Galaxy S21 and other upcoming phones.

The Galaxy S10 and S20 series both use Qualcomm’s 3D Sonic Sensor, a 4-by-9-millimeter (0.16-by-0.35-inch) first-generation sensor that doesn’t work well with wet fingers. Samsung skipped Qualcomm’s second product, the gigantic 20-by-30-millimeter (0.79-by-1.18-inch) 3D Sonic Max.

The 3D Gen 2 may hit the sweet spot between those. At 8 by 8 millimeters (0.3 inch square), it’s 77% larger than the first sensor. Qualcomm says it’s also 50% faster and works well with wet fingers.

There are two main varieties of under-display fingerprint sensors. Optical sensors, primarily made by Goodix, appear in OnePlus phones. Ultrasonic scanners, from Qualcomm, are in Samsung devices. Qualcomm says its ultrasonic scanners are more secure and more accurate, but fingerprint sensing is a complex combination of software and hardware, so it’s been hard to show that in final consumer products.

Qualcomm says that the Gen 2 will appear on mobile devices in “early 2021.” We suspect the announcement timing is connected to Samsung’s Galaxy S21 announcement on Jan. 14.

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