Samsung Electronics was awarded a new patent for an under-display fingerprint reader solution earlier this month, as revealed by the World Intellectual Property Organization. The South Korean original equipment manufacturer originally filed to patent its invention in mid-August, with WIPO clearing the application last Thursday. While the company's IP portfolio already includes a vast array of in-screen fingerprint scanners, the newly uncovered technology is one of the more comprehensive ones Samsung patented to date, with its nature theoretically allowing for the implementation of a broad range of sensors, including thermal and ultrasonic ones. In regards to biometric authentication, Samsung designed the three-layer solution primarily with optical fingerprint readers in mind, the patent documentation reveals.
In practice, the actual portion of the screen capable of recognizing one's fingerprint shouldn't be visually different from the rest of the display and its area of recognition may be as large as the manufacturer wants it to. The shape of the identification area is also flexible, whereas Samsung's engineers believe the technology is implementable in conjunction with any popular type of display modules on the market, including OLED, LCD, EPD, and PDP panels. The Seoul-based OEM envisioned a platform that can be delivered in the form of a standalone configuration or be integrated into a display module during the process of component production but before any final product assembly takes place.
Samsung has been trying to commercialize in-screen fingerprint readers in the mobile segment for several years now, having originally attempted to integrate them into the Galaxy S8 lineup, according to previous reports. The company is still said to be struggling with yield rates and other technical issues, with some analysts now predicting the Galaxy Note 9 will also miss out on such solutions, speculating that optical fingerprint scanners or other related technologies won't be supported by any Samsung-made product before the Galaxy S10 lineup debuts early next year.