Samsung is one of the biggest players in the mobile semiconductor industry and now it’s looking to break into the fingerprint chip market. Industry watchers believe that Samsung wants a piece of the market that’s more or less cornered by Sweden’s FPC and US-based Synaptics as it sees major growth in the years to come. Several small to medium companies in South Korea are also doing the same so there’s all the more reason for Samsung to jump in as well.
Samsung Electronics’ System LSI division is believed to be involved in the development of fingerprint sensor chips since last year. It’s apparently in the final stages of development and will be able to commercialize these chips starting next year. The short-term goal is to supply them for Samsung’s own low and mid-range smartphones before also fulfilling requirements for premium lineups like the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note series. The chips will eventually be sold to other smartphone manufacturers, Samsung already supplies all sorts of components including but not limited to display panels, processors, mobile RAMs, flash storage, and more.
The Korean giant currently sources fingerprint sensors for its smartphones from Synaptics. It will be able to bring down its costs by sourcing them from a sister company. The company will develop its own chip while it will source the necessary algorithm from Precise Biometrics in Sweden and for modules it will lean on existing relationships in the CMOS image sensor industry. A fingerprint recognition system requires these three components to function.
Samsung hasn’t confirmed any plans to enter the fingerprint chip market as yet so take this with a grain of salt until there’s some clarity on the matter.