Partron, MCNEX, and Dreamtech will supply the optical fingerprint recognition sensor modules for Samsung Electronics’ low-medium priced smartphone lineup, Galaxy A.
Samsung Electronics introduced their new Galaxy A series at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) held in Spain, Barcelona on February 25 (local time). The Galaxy A series will be released sequentially starting from March 2019.
According to industry sources, following Partron and MCNEX, Dreamtech is named to be the third company to prepare the mass-production of optical fingerprint recognition sensor modules for the Galaxy A series. The optical fingerprint recognition sensor is one of the FOD (Fingerprint on Display) technologies that are built inside the display itself. Through this technology, the screen of the product itself will recognize the fingerprint of the user. It recognizes the fingerprints by measuring how much light is reflected based on the curves of the surface of the fingerprint. This is the first time that three companies are supplying the optical fingerprint recognition sensor modules.
Partron and MCNEX, which are both camera module manufacturers, were the first to develop optical fingerprint recognition sensor modules. Because the optical method recognizes the fingerprint by using a similar method to a camera taking photos, industry sources explained that it was natural for these two companies to start the development of this method.
“We are going to supply optical fingerprint recognition sensor modules to the Samsung Galaxy A series, which are scheduled to be released in the second quarter of this year.” said a representative from Partron. The same representative also stated that it is their goal to “balance the sales of capacitive sensors and optical sensors to 5:5.” Partron had also set their goals for fingerprint recognition sensor modules sales this year as 150 billion KRW, which is a huge increase compared to the last year’s 90 billion KRW.
A representative from MCNEX stated that “we are currently preparing to produce optical fingerprint recognition sensor modules,” but also added that they “can’t give specific information about their clients, competitors, and the amount of supply.” To a question asking, if they are going to expand the supply of optical sensors, they have answered: “our client (Samsung) will decide.” Industry sources are currently predicting that MCNEX will also supply optical fingerprint recognition sensor modules to the Galaxy A series. They have also supplied the capacitive fingerprint recognition sensor modules to Samsung Electronics.
Dreamtech, Korea’s top company in fingerprint recognition sensor modules, is also preparing the mass-production of optical fingerprint sensor modules for the Galaxy A series. A representative of Dreamtech quoted “Last year, Dreamtech’s share of fingerprint recognition sensor modules within the low-medium priced smartphones of Samsung was about 73%. Our goal is to maintain a 10% lead in yield rate to our competitors even in the optical method.” They have also added “we are predicting that the optical fingerprint recognition sensors will also be applied to the Galaxy Note series, which is the future flagship of Samsung. If the optical method is applied to the Galaxy Note, we are planning to increase the production of optical method sensors to 50% of our total production.”
These three companies have one thing in common: They all import the optical fingerprint sensor produced by Egis Technology (Taiwan) and process it into modules to supply them to Samsung Electronics. The optical method sensor has a lower recognition rate compared to the ultrasonic wave method, which is applied to the flagship model of Samsung Electronics, Galaxy S10, but its price is only half as high. Optical fingerprint recognition sensor modules are known to cost about 5 USD per unit, while ultrasonic fingerprint recognition sensor modules cost about 10 USD per unit.