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CES 2021 | Qualcomm introduces next-gen fingerprint sensor for smartphones and foldables

The new second-gen Qualcomm 3D Sonic sensor. (Image: Qualcomm)
The new second-gen Qualcomm 3D Sonic sensor. (Image: Qualcomm)
Qualcomm has introduced its second-generation 3D Sonic Sensor under-display fingerprint reader. The new scanner offers a 77 percent larger fingerprint reader area and is 50 percent faster than its first-gen scanner which featured in Samsung’s Galaxy S20 and Note20 models.

Under-display fingerprint sensors have become increasingly common among Android smartphones and they look like they are here to stay. Qualcomm’s first-generation 3D sonic sensor found its way into Samsung devices including the Galaxy S10, the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy Note20. While these have performed well enough they have had their limitations with speed and contact area but Qualcomm believes its second-generation 3D Sonic Sensor addresses those concerns. 

The new second-generation Qualcomm 3D Sonic Sensor will be available to customers in sizes that are 77 percent larger than and 50 percent faster than the first gen component. The larger contact area not only means users don’t need to be quite as precise in touching the screen, but also captures 1.7 times more biometric data which helps speed up the authentication process. It is also ultra-thin at just 0.2 mm which will help OEMs trying to achieve maximum thinness with their designs. It is also thin enough that it is compatible with foldable displays like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold.

The timing of Qualcomm’s announcement comes just ahead of the launch of the new Samsung Galaxy S21 range where we expect the new sensor to make its debut. This will be good news for customers of Samsung’s latest flagship as there were minor complaints that the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy Note 20 sensor weren’t quite as fast customer’s would have liked. The increased size and speed of the new Qualcomm sensor looks like it should make authenticating with 2021 flagships a much more seamless experience.

(Image: Qualcomm)
(Image: Qualcomm)


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Sanjiv Sathiah
Sanjiv Sathiah - Senior Tech Writer - 1360 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
I have been writing about consumer technology over the past ten years, previously with the former MacNN and Electronista, and now Notebookcheck since 2017. My first computer was an Apple ][c and this sparked a passion for Apple, but also technology in general. In the past decade, I’ve become increasingly platform agnostic and love to get my hands on and explore as much technology as I can get my hand on. Whether it is Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Nintendo, Xbox, or PlayStation, each has plenty to offer and has given me great joy exploring them all. I was drawn to writing about tech because I love learning about the latest devices and also sharing whatever insights my experience can bring to the site and its readership.
contact me via: @t3mporarybl1p
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 01 > Qualcomm introduces next-gen fingerprint sensor for smartphones and foldables
Sanjiv Sathiah, 2021-01-12 (Update: 2021-01-12)