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Qualcomm says its new in-display fingerprint sensor is 50 percent faster

The second-gen 3D Sonic Sensor is 77 percent larger than the first version.
Kris Holt, @krisholt
January 11, 2021
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Woman's hand is scanning biometric fingerprint for approval to access smartphone. Concept of the danger of using electronic devices is important.
Sitthiphong via Getty Images

Qualcomm is upgrading one of its in-display fingerprint sensors. The second-generation 3D Sonic Sensor is 77 percent larger than its predecessor. It covers an area of 64 square millimeters (8mm x 8mm) compared with the first version’s 36 square millimeters (4mm x 9mm).

According to Qualcomm, the larger size will allow the reader to collect 1.7 times more biometric data, since there’ll be more space for your finger. The company says the sensor can also process data 50 percent faster than the older one, so it should unlock phones more quickly.

The 3D Sonic Sensor uses ultrasound to scan the ridges and pores of your finger for increased security. The latest version is still significantly smaller than the 3D Sonic Max, which covers an area of 600 square millimeters and can authenticate two fingerprints at once.

Qualcomm expects phones with the second-gen 3D Sonic Sensor to start popping up in the early part of this year. Given that Samsung used the previous version of the scanner and it’s set to reveal its latest slate of handsets at Galaxy Unpacked this week, we might not have to wait long to see phones that take advantage of it.

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