The fingerprint reader implemented below the display of the newly announced Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition comes from Synaptics, the San Jose, California-based firm said Thursday. The setup used by the Android flagship is based on the FS9500 Clear ID sensor Synaptics announced late last year, having already commercialized the solution inside the Vivo X20 Plus UD and X21 UD. The technology that's now making its way into consumer-ready products was recently recognized as the Component of the Year, having been awarded that title by the Society for Information Display.
The Clear ID product family is touted as a historic milestone for the industry, being the first lineup of mass-produced in-display fingerprint readers. The solution requires an OLED panel such as the Samsung-made AMOLED panel used by the Mi 8 series, with Synaptics claiming an optimal implementation can yield better performance than even 3D facial recognition technologies. Another selling point of Clear ID is its compatibility with the Synaptics SentryPoint platform meant to build on basic authentication solutions with cutting-edge technologies supported by over-the-air updates for maximum security. Synaptics is presently the largest in-display fingerprint reader supplier in the mobile industry and only one of the two companies that have shipped such consumer-ready solutions to date, with the other one being Goodix whose scanner is featured below the display of the Huawei Mate RS Porsche Design announced earlier this year.
Qualcomm is also expected to enter the market by early 2019, with recent reports indicating the chipmaker will be supplying an in-screen fingerprint scanner for Samsung's Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10 Plus Android flagships. The Mi 8 is widely expected to become the first mainstream smartphone with such an authentication solution that's likely to become a mainstay in the flagship segment as soon as original equipment manufacturers improve their yield rates which are still understood to be problematic.