The Galaxy Note 9 will have an optical fingerprint sensor embedded into its display panel, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted earlier this month, suggesting that Samsung may finally be able to commercialize the emerging biometric authentication technology by next summer. The South Korean original equipment manufacturer reportedly still hasn’t decided on the supplier that would provide it with the components necessary for implementing an on-screen fingerprint recognition scanner into a smartphone, with recent reports indicating that the company is still considering three major firms.
The technology itself supposedly relies on an OLED panel not just to protect the sensor while simultaneously allowing its usage but also by supporting it by serving as a light source. Being able to light up the sensor with the screen of the device and not having to implement an additional lighting solution would allow Samsung to deliver a system that’s power-efficient and doesn’t degrade the battery performance of existing (Android) flagships. Samsung Group-owned Samsung LSI supposedly already shipped some sample components for an in-screen fingerprint sensor to Samsung Electronics, as did Korean firm BeyondEyes, Kuo’s recent note claims. Either of the two could be awarded a new supply contract following Samsung’s testing period and the tech giant’s long-term partner Egis may also be commissioned for additional components, with the firm already having a vast experience in manufacturing fingerprint sensors for Samsung.
The Seoul-based electronics manufacturer has reportedly been trying to commercialize optical fingerprint sensors for years now and originally hoped to implement them into the Galaxy S8 lineup. Having missed that opportunity, the company was also said to be exploring a similar solution for the Galaxy Note 8 but the rate of its technological advancements wasn’t able to match its 2017 ambitions. According to recent reports, the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus will still debut with traditional fingerprint readers situated on their rear plates as Samsung still has to overcome certain development obstacles before being able to embed such sensors into mobile displays in a reliable manner. In the long term, Samsung is hoping to deliver a solution similar to Apple’s Face ID which is soon set to debut on the iPhone X, Kuo believes, adding that Apple also unsuccessfully tried to equip its next-generation iOS flagship with an on-screen fingerprint sensor.