Huawei’s Patented Ultrasonic Fingerprint Tech Could Boost Mobile Biometrics

How to build better mobile fingerprint scanners, Huawei may have secured a powerful new weapon, recently patented an “ultrasonic fingerprint” system it claims can boost accuracy over existing solutions.

Patent published by China’s National Intellectual Property Administration, describes an ultrasonic fingerprint module with a unique pixel electrode array designed to enhance fingerprint reading precision. It’s constructed with a piezoelectric layer sandwiched between a circuit substrate with multiple pixel electrodes on one side and a single “public” electrode on the other.

But here’s the special fingerprint scanner – those pixel electrodes are divided into two separate groups that operate differently depending on whether the module is sending or receiving ultrasonic signals during the fingerprint scanning process. It’s this dynamic electrode management that Huawei believes can capture more accurate fingerprint data.

Of course, ultrasonic fingerprint sensors themselves are nothing new in the smartphone world. Many Android device makers currently utilize ultrasound-based solutions from companies like Goodix. But Huawei claims its implementation is a workaround to sidestep some of those pesky patents that have proven difficult to circumvent.

The obvious goal? Bring best-in-class fingerprint biometrics to Huawei’s future smartphones and devices by cutting out the outside suppliers. Reliable fingerprint authentication remains a key pillar of mobile security, so any advancements that boost speed and accuracy would be a huge win for both Huawei and its users.

Of course, patenting an invention is one thing – getting it into actual shipping products is another challenge entirely. Huawei will still need to work through the complexities of miniaturizing and mass producing this specialized ultrasonic setup. But if they can pull it off, the payoff could be an under-display fingerprint reader that blows away the competition.

Between this and Huawei’s other biometric ambitions like advanced 3D facial recognition, it’s clear the company isn’t messing around when it comes to fortifying its devices with cutting-edge authentication tech. Now let’s see if their patented fingerprint tricks can convert into a genuine operating system-level advantage once the engineering challenges are sorted out.

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