Qualcomm Launches New, Bigger Fingerprint Sensor – 3D Sonic Max

Qualcomm Launches New, Bigger Fingerprint Sensor – 3D Sonic Max


Today Qualcomm has launched the 3D Sonic Max, its latest fingerprint sensor. It is the next version of Qualcomm’s previous model of 3D Sonic Sensor. The most notable aspect of the newly-introduced sensor is, it’s 17 times greater than last year’s prototype. Apart from that, it will offer significantly more surface area to capture a supersonic fingerprint scan. The latest fingerprint sensor will also have the potential to manage two fingerprints at a time. It also means that the device will offer double security. Qualcomm touts that the new fingerprint scanner functions well, being faster and convenient than the last one.

It seems like Qualcomm has opted for a different methodology, which makes it stand apart from other smartphone makers. Usually, a fingerprint scanning mechanism relies on an optical image of your finger for verification. But Qualcomm’s new 3D Sonic system employs an ultrasound approach for getting an imitation of the surface texture of fingerprints. Before this, both ultrasound and optical fingerprint scanners had a significant disadvantage, i.e., size. Both had a comparatively small scale; as a result, there remained a lack of safety as compared to larger ones. As per Gordon Thomas, senior director for product management, current mobile devices have a small fingerprint sensor that measures around 4mm by 9mm. Thus the area is so small that it recognizes only a part of a finger.

On the other hand, a larger sensor has the potential to seize more data. Even more, it seeks for more marks to recognize the user, which is integrally tougher. Notably, the new Qualcomm 3D Sonic Max scanner measures 20mm × 30mm, which forms an area of 600 square mm. Thomas said it lessens the chances of misleading a system. He added, the company intends to gain an accuracy rate of 1 in a million. Note that, it is the same level of precision Apple touts for its Face ID. Apart from the fingerprint sensor, Qualcomm intends to launch the two largest chipsets in 2020.

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