After more than a year of development, Synaptics' optical solutions of in-display fingerprint sensing have the chance to enter mass production due to the increasing yield rate of Synaptics and other related companies.
The technology is production-ready, according to Synaptics, which said it's been talking to vendors across the smartphone industry. "It will be realized more subtly under the screen, behind the metal shell, or even in the frame", Vivo told Engadget in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of MWC, Shanghai.
Made in collaboration with Synaptics, the fingerprint sensor will only be "visible" when it is needed; a fingerprint icon will be shown on the display whenever the sensor is active. Vivo usually pops up on our radar when it shows up at a trade show with a "first ever" feature on smartphones.
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During the time we got to spend trying out the phone in Las Vegas, the on-display optical sensor, which is snugly fitted between the printed circuit board and OLED panel, only failed the device unlocking process a couple of times.
The Sensor Company Synaptics, which has demoed the Vivo phone in a crowded booth, goes on to inform us that the fingerprint reader will not use a lot of battery.
Nonetheless, it's definitely exciting to finally see a smartphone with an in-screen fingerprint sensor become a reality. The sensor, that was reviewed and used at CES was on Vivo, a Chinese phone maker's brand, and was tested out by CNet. Place your finger there, wait for a split second and the phone will unlock with a cool animation taking place.
This technology will only work for phones that use OLED displays because the sensor looks through the spaces between subpixels from under the panel. Early reports claim this sensor is accurate and fast enough, but it can't match the speed and accuracy of the best dedicated fingerprint sensors. But sadly none of the big smartphone manufacturers were able to implement this feature in their flagship phones. The company is most likely powering some of the devices you have, and it specialized in touch controllers, fingerprint sensors, integrated touch and displays, digital headset SoCs, Multimedia and Video Processing and Imaging.