Qualcomm’s second-gen 3D ultrasonic fingerprint sensor is larger and faster

As CES 2021 unravel, we get to see the kind of tech we should expect this year. Alongside tech companies that have taken the opportunity to showcase what they have in store in the course of the year is Qualcomm, which unveiled it’s second-gen 3D ultrasonic fingerprint sensor that’s been touted to be bigger, faster and captures more detail than the original tech. officially, the fingerprint tech is dubbed as “3D Sonic Sensor Gen 2” and packs several improvements over the original tech in areas that matter.

According to Qualcomm, the new 3D Sonic Sensor Gen 2 has a larger surface area that drastically improves on recognition speeds. The sensor measures 8mm x 8mm, translating to 77 percent more surface area than its predecessor which maxed out at 4mm x 9mm. As expected, since the sensor has a generally large surface area, it’ll be able to capture more data in a single scan. Additionally, the overall time taken to register a new fingerprint will be lesser than it was before. The increased surface area will also result in more accurate unlocking, since you will not necessarily have to place your finger in a certain way.   

Processing speed

Under the hood, Qualcomm has improved on the processing speed, which is now more than 50 percent faster compared to the first gen. there were some complains with the first gen sensor in some devices such as the Note 10, Galaxy S10 and S20, where users complained it wasn’t as fast as they would have wanted it to be. In comparison, optical sensors were faster and enjoyed a wider adoption than the ultrasonic counterpart.

Devices expected to ship with the 3D Sonic Sensor Gen 2

We don’t currently have a list of devices that will ship with Qualcomm’s latest fingerprint tech, however, if Samsung decides to use it on the next S21 flagship, we should have an idea on how reliable and effective it is pretty soon.


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