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Smaller fingerprint sensors are on the way

Crucialtec has announced a new, faster fingerprint recognition algorithm that will allow for sensors to fit into smaller packages.

Published onNovember 2, 2015

CrucialTec fingerprint sensor

Fingerprint sensors are already rather discreetly embedded into a number of high-end smartphones, but the technology could be about to shrink down even further. Newly announced recognition algorithms developed by Crucialtec will enable smaller module sizes, while still retaining high speed and accuracy of detection.

Crucialtec has developed a micro-surface area fingerprint recognition algorithm called ‘Muon’, which it will begin supplying to domestic and foreign business soon. The algorithm can successfully identify fingerprints with a false acceptance rate of less than 1/50,000 with a minimum recognition area of 8mm2. Typically, larger detection areas are required in order to provide enough detail for an algorithm to detect unique characteristics about a finger. The new algorithm can presumable identify these unique characteristics with a smaller data set.

Rather than large panels on the back of a phone or embedded into home buttons, this type of technology will enable fingerprint scanners to fit into more discreet locations, such as a volume or power button, or simply into a bezel. Crucialtec’s algorithm can detect a fingerprint using a module as small as 18.72 mm2 (5.2 x 3.6 mm), while the sensor inside the new Nexus 5X and 6P comes in at 64 mm2 (8.0 x 8.0 mm).

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As well as improving area efficiency, Crucialtec is working to improve the speed of the fingerprint recognition process. The company claims to have performed the three major steps; image processing, characteristic extraction and encoding/storage; in just 0.3 seconds.

As Android 6.0 Marshmallow now supports fingerprint scanning technology as standard, we could see increased support for hardware in upcoming devices. Crucialtec’s algorithm could make for some sleeker looking, faster devices with built in fingerprint sensors. Exciting stuff.

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