Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Samsung Reportedly Drops Plans for an In-Display Fingerprint Sensor on the Galaxy Note 9

Last year, reports stated that Samsung was planning to use an in-display fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy S8. However, it was reportedly cancelled at the last moment, because of issues with low yields. The Galaxy S8 instead had a fingerprint sensor on the rear of the phone in an off-centered layout beside the camera.

Rumors stated that Samsung was planning to include the in-display fingerprint tech on the Galaxy Note 8, but that didn’t pan out. Then, it was speculated that Galaxy S9 would be Samsung’s first phone to have an in-display sensor. The speculation was short-lived, though, as we have known since November that the phone will not have an in-display fingerprint sensor. Instead, the fingerprint sensor will be placed below the camera in a centered layout, as renders have confirmed.

After the Galaxy S9, Samsung’s next major phone launch is the Galaxy Note 9, due to be released in the second half of this year. Now, a report by The Bell states that Samsung has dropped plans to place an in-display fingerprint sensor on the the Galaxy Note 9. The project was reportedly stopped recently, and the Note 9’s fingerprint sensor will instead be placed on the back.

The report states that a number of sensor companies have been supplying Samsung with in-display fingerprint sensors, but commercialization has been delayed due to “technical difficulties.” Samsung has reportedly confirmed to parts suppliers that the fingerprint sensor will be placed on the rear of the Note 9, and that the production of the device’s display will begin in June.

Although Vivo has already announced the world’s first smartphone with an in-display fingerprint sensor (using Synaptics’ Clear ID sensors), Samsung is said to be facing more difficulties with the company’s curved “Infinity Displays” on its flagship smartphones.

The company has reportedly tried both capacitive and optical fingerprint sensors but has faced difficulties with both. The Bell‘s report states that using optical fingerprint sensors presents issues with accuracy, which is reportedly lowered because of issues with the OLED display’s semi-transparent nature.

On the other hand, capacitive fingerprint sensors can be relatively transparent as compared to optical sensors, and this ensures higher accuracy of the fingerprint information. However, they can suffer from durability issues.

The last type of in-display fingerprint sensors are ultrasound sensors (Qualcomm demoed ultrasound in-display fingerprint sensors last year). They have no durability issues, and accuracy is reportedly high as the sensor collects fingerprint information with ultrasound that can pass through thin metal. The downsides are that they are expensive, have low yields, and are slower to recognize the fingerprint as compared to conventional fingerprint sensors.

According to The Bell‘s report, Samsung has narrowed down its list of sensor company suppliers from a number of companies in the early days to only a few for in-display fingerprint sensors. The company still hasn’t selected a particular supplier, but is said to be in the process of continuing research and development.

The report quoted an unnamed official as stating: “There are advantages and disadvantages of both optical and capacitive type and ultrasonic type, so I do not think there is any technology that can be commercialized right now. Next year, I think it will be possible [for Samsung Electronics] to mount it.”


Source: The Bell (in Korean)

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