Cutting Cost of Fingerprints

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2001-11-12

A Silicon Valley startup last week unveiled fingerprint-scanning technology that officials said is less expensive and more reliable than traditional scanning devices.

Fidelica Microsystems Inc. developed a unique sensor that measures the difference in pressure between the ridges and valleys of a fingerprint. Traditional fingerprint-scanning devices use a light source to measure the distance between the scanner and the finger, but the results can be fouled by moisture, dirt or other substances on the finger.

Fidelicas sensor is about the size of a postage stamp and comprises thousands of sensing cells. Unlike other sensors, which use semiconductors made from silicon wafers, the Fidelica devices are manufactured using glass substrates, a much less expensive process, said officials with the Milpitas, Calif., company.

The sensors will cost less than $10 each.

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