Cypress debuts fingerprint sensing for mobile devices

March 2, 2015

Barcelona, Spain. Cypress Semiconductor Corp., in conjunction with its strategic partner IDEX ASA, today introduced a fingerprint reader solution designed to bring reliable, easy-to-use user authentication to smartphones, tablets, wearables and other mobile devices. The TrueTouch Fingerprint Reader uses proprietary sensing circuitry and a touch sensor design. The flexible solution enables designers to create custom home buttons with specialized shapes and sizes or to integrate the sensor into any mobile device’s industrial design or home button.

Consumers have increasingly embraced fingerprint readers as an alternative to keying in complex usernames, PINs, and passwords. Mobile device OEMs and companies that sell via the Internet have gravitated toward the technology as the most secure way to validate a user’s identity. Demand for fingerprint readers in mobile devices is forecast to grow at a compound annual rate of 47% through 2019, reaching annual shipments of more than 700 million units.

Cypress will showcase its TrueTouch Fingerprint Reader, along with its extensive portfolio of capacitive touchscreen and touch-sensing solutions, at Mobile World Congress 2015 from March 2-5 in Barcelona.

The TrueTouch Fingerprint Reader leverages IP from Oslo, Norway-based IDEX ASA. Cypress announced a strategic partnership with IDEX last year, enabling it to add IDEX’s patented SmartFinger fingerprint sensing technology to its extensive portfolio of capacitive touch-sensing solutions. IDEX IP, plus the ability to work with IDEX’s qualified sensor partners, will provide Cypress with immediate access to a range of global markets.

“The barriers to entry are considerable in the emerging market for fingerprint readers, in part because of the highly specialized IP and complete solution that is required to compete,” said T.J. Rodgers, president and CEO of Cypress. “Our relationship with IDEX will enable us to provide our top-tier mobile customers with a globally deployable fingerprint sensing solution, including a sensor, Android drivers and a software stack. With our industry-leading CapSense capacitive touch-sensing controllers, and our TrueTouch touchscreen solutions, Cypress will have an unmatched portfolio for mobile user interfaces.”

“We are extremely pleased with the performance of our new generation touch sensor developed in record time through our partnership with Cypress,” said Dr. Hemant Mardia, CEO of IDEX ASA. “The combination of IDEX’s breakthrough imaging performance, matching algorithm and patented sensor IP with Cypress’s award-winning programmable system-on-chip technology delivers best in class fingerprint matching. This product has been designed based on fundamentally new technology to meet our OEM customers’ demands for usability and security strength from small touch sensors.”

FIDO and software support

Cypress is a member of the Fast IDentity Online (FIDO) Alliance, an industry consortium developing standards-based specifications for universal authentication methods. Cypress shares the Alliance’s vision to define and deploy a more secure, private and convenient experience for mobile device users. FIDO-enabled biometric user authentication protects sensitive information and eliminates the need for inconvenient passwords. The TrueTouch Fingerprint Reader solution for the Android OS comes complete with the sensor, compatible SPI drivers, and the FIDO enabled authentication software stack. OEMs have access to Cypress’s extensive customer support, testing and usability tools, and integration expertise to rapidly create custom designs.

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