OnQ Blog

Qualcomm 3D Sonic Sensor enables OEMs top-notch security and accuracy [video]

Feb 20, 2019

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Our Qualcomm 3D Sonic Sensor is one of the most-advanced sensors available while also being ultra-thin and cutting-edge, so it can easily be integrated under a device’s display. It’s also future-proofed, so OEMs can confidently adapt the solution for different use cases down the road. It’s a prime example of how Qualcomm Technologies enables our customers to innovate and create today’s leading mobile devices. 

Fingerprints on the pulse

The Qualcomm 3D Sonic Sensor uses sound waves to read the valleys and ridges of a finger. It does so by transmitting an ultrasonic pulse against the finger, creating a detailed three-dimensional reproduction of the scanned fingerprint. This is a true differentiator compared to other solutions, which use the legacy two-dimensional, light-sensing optical approach. 

Our ultrasonic sensor for fingerprint recognition can detect blood flow within the finger and actually prevent hackers from spoofing the device with a photo or a mold. This extra protection is called anti-spoofing, and it takes in additional information from the fingerprint and makes this solution unique compared to legacy optical solutions. Reading the pulses also leads to better performance than optical biometric passwords across a wide variety of conditions and contaminants, including when the finger is wet or dirty.

Convenience at your fingerprints

Our ultrasonic fingerprint sensor has a thickness of less than 0.2 millimeters and can be implemented under a device’s full display, allowing for a thin, button-less device design. Its convenient location also makes the sensor less obtrusive to use than other biometric options. While face unlock requires users to pull out their phones and look directly at their screens, using our 3D Sonic Sensor is quick, easy, and discrete.

The Qualcomm 3D Sonic Sensor is also scalable, making it easier for OEMs to integrate the technology for a device of almost any size.

Beyond security

Given it’s virtually error proof, the Qualcomm 3D Sonic Sensor is ideal for a host of solutions. It works for mobile payments and is compliant with MasterCard and KakaoPay; users simply unlock their device with their fingerprint, pay, and go.

The ultrasonic sensor technology can be utilized for different future-facing applications as well. Because the Qualcomm 3D Sonic Sensor uses sound waves to detect blood flow, OEMs can use the technology for healthcare purposes such as monitoring heart rate, measuring BMI, and analyzing blood sugar levels. It could also be modified for AI use cases in the future.

Based on our research, with the lowest failure-to-acquire rate compared to commercial fingerprint solutions in the mobile industry, ultrasonic fingerprint sensors have become the gold standard when it comes to safeguarding user information. Our Qualcomm 3D Sonic Sensor, in particular, enables OEMs to develop devices that are sleek, low-power, and most importantly, secure. 

Qualcomm 3D Sonic Sensor is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.


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Francisco Cheng

Director, Technical Marketing

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