Qualcomm Unveils New Generation 3D Sonic Max Fingerprint Sensor with 17x Larger Surface Area

Apart from unveiling its flagship chipset, Snapdragon 865 SoC, Qualcomm also introduced its new in-display fingerprint technology called the 3D Sonic Max at its annual Qualcomm Snapdragon Tech Summit. The predecessor to this newly unveiled 3D Sonic Max, the 3D Sonic in-display fingerprint sensor, which was introduced last year, took a different approach and eliminated some major drawbacks of optical scanners.

Instead of relying on an optical image of your finger for authentication, the 3D Sonic system used ultrasound to get an impression of the surface texture of your fingerprints. This provided an advantage over the optical sensors with its ability to be able to scan even wet fingers along with better security.

Qualcomm’s 3D Sonic Max Fingerprint Sensor

This new fingerprint sensor is claimed to be the world’s largest by Qualcomm. It has a significantly larger scanning area, which is 17 times larger than its predecessor. It even allows the user to authenticate with two fingers simultaneously, such as using both thumbs.

Qualcomm’s 3D Sonic Max fingerprint scanner

According to Gordon Thomas (Senior Director for Product Management), existing fingerprint sensors for mobile devices typically measure around 4mm x 9mm. That would only detect part of your finger. While the 3D Sonic Max scanner measures 20mm x 30mm for a 600 square millimetre area.

A larger sensor captures more information and detects more signs to identify you. This decreases the chances of fooling this system. Thomas further said that the company is aiming for a false-positive rating of 1 in a million. That’s the same level of accuracy as that of what Apple claims for its Face ID.

Key features :

  • Enabling dual-fingerprint authentication with the larger surface area, which means the system will be looking for two unique prints at the same time.
  • The higher accuracy of the dual-finger authentication enables it to be used in various sectors like banks and police systems, which require higher security measures for ID-ing a person and preventing frauds.
  • Compared to the last-gen 3D Sonic, the Max carries out its ultrasonic identification within its hardware instead of relying on algorithms and processing elsewhere on the device.
  • With a larger target area, you can easily sign in to your device instead of jabbing your finger at a spot where you think the scanner is.

It is expected that we’ll see some more commercial uses of the new 3D Sonic Max fingerprint sensor in the coming year. Samsung used the last generation of Qualcomm sensors in the Galaxy S10 and Note 10 Plus and it’ll be interesting to see if the Galaxy S11 will follow the suit and will be using Qualcomm’s new fingerprint technology or if Samsung will develop its own in-display fingerprint technology by the time the phone launches.

Further Reading:

Qualcomm Announces Snapdragon 865 and 765 SoC with Integrated 5G support

Xiaomi launches Mi band 3i in India without the heart-rate tracking and at super low-price

Best Graphics Cards for 1080p Gaming: December 2019

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