Suprema, a company specialized in providing biometrics solutions such as fingerprint recognition algorithms, is expected to benefit from the commercialization of FOD (Fingerprint On Display) technology.
An official from Suprema on 7th said, “we expect significant sales increase in the commercialization of FOD technology.” FOD is a technology that can identify fingerprints on specified areas of or the entire surface of smartphone displays. This technique of inserting a fingerprint sensor under the panel needs to identify the minute resistance change and identify the fingerprint accurately while suppressing the noise. Difficulty of implementation is very high. Apple has not been able to commercialize this technology, meaning that the iPhone X series has removed fingerprint recognition and instead been equipped with 3D face recognition technology called the Face ID. Some Chinese companies have commercialized the FOD technology, but its accuracy and reliability are known to be at a very low level.
Experts believe that Samsung Electronics will apply the FOD technology to the new premium Galaxy series to be launched soon. Sam Mobile and other foreign press reported on leaked images of Galaxy S10 applying FOD technology on 6th (local time).
It is assumed that Qualcomm supplies major parts related to FOD. Qualcomm launched ‘Qualcomm 3D Sonic Sensor’, a high-performance ultrasonic fingerprint sensor last December. Suprema signed a licensing agreement with Qualcomm in January for BioSign, the FOD fingerprint recognition algorithm. It is assumed that the Samsung Galaxy S10 series will be equipped with the Suprema fingerprint recognition algorithm.
Seo Hyung-seok, a researcher at the research institute of Leading Investment & Securities said “efflorescence of the FOD technology will boost sales of Suprema’s algorithms.” Han Dong-hee, a researcher at KIWOOM Securities explained “the fact that (Suprema) has held Qualcomm as a client means that it has started 2019 as an exclusive FOD algorithm business in Korea.”
IHS Markit, the market researcher, predicted that global FOD sensor shipments last year stood only 10 million units, but this year it is expected to reach 100 million units and 280 million units next year. FOD solution prices are estimated to be three to four times higher than conventional electrostatic fingerprint recognition. Currently, Suprema and Sweden’s Precise Biometrics are known to be the only companies that hold FOD fingerprint recognition algorithms.
Leading Investment & Securities forecasts that Suprema’s sales will grow by more than 20% over last year to 65 billion KRW and business profit by 27% to 15 billion KRW. FOD technology will be possibly applied to Samsung’s mid-range smartphone Galaxy A series as well. In this case, sales of Suprema may be expanded.
Suprema, which is headquartered in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, is divided from Suprema HQ and listed on the Kosdaq market in February 2016. The business is divides into biometrics recognition systems (terminals for access security and attendance management) and biometrics solutions (fingerprint recognition algorithms and modules for smart phones). As of the end of 3Q of 2018, sales by business division are accounted for 70.5% of biometrics recognition systems, 20.4% of biometrics solutions, and 9.1% of product service sales. In 2017, sales are estimated at 47.1 billion KRW and business profit at 12.4 billion KRW. Last year, it provided a touch-based fingerprint recognition solution to Samsung. The corresponding solution was installed in Galaxy J5 and other devices.