Tokyo, July 31, 2001---Fujitsu Limited announced today that it will begin supplying silicon fingerprint sensors to the worldwide market beginning this October. Signaling Fujitsu's full-fledged entry into the fingerprint sensor business, the move follows upon the licensing of fingerprint sensor technology and fingerprint authentication software from Veridicom, Inc., based in Santa Clara, Calif., and the establishment of a dedicated fingerprint sensor development center at San Jose, Calif.-based Fujitsu Microelectronics, Inc. (FMI), in May. Combining these capabilities with the know-how of Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd., which has over ten years of experience in fingerprint authentication technology, Fujitsu Limited and FMI intend to develop, manufacture and market fingerprint sensors and authentication software packages for the multi-function IC card and mobile telephone markets.
Personal authentication systems are seen as essential technology for maintaining privacy in e-commerce transactions and controlling access to electronic databases. Sophisticated authentication systems already use fingerprint sensor technology, and the rapid growth of broadband Internet is expected to expand demand for fingerprint sensors to smart cards and mobile phones. The fingerprint sensor market, currently estimated at 2 billion yen, is projected to grow to over 100 billion yen (about $800 million) by the end of calendar 2004. Well poised to take advantage of this explosive growth, Fujitsu is targeting 40% of the global fingerprint sensor market.
Focus on Fast-Growing Market for Capacitive Sensors
Fujitsu and FMI will focus on the development of capacitive fingerprint sensors, which, because of the high reliability of their authentication ability, the high resolution of their images and their compactness, are predicted to comprise over 95 percent of the total market by 2004. They plan to supply innovative, highly reliable authentication solutions required for the broadband Internet era, for example, by integrating a fingerprint sensor with an LSI chip for multi-function IC cards incorporating Fujitsu's next generation Ferroelectric RAM (FRAM) non-volatile memory device.
Fujitsu's capacitive fingerprint sensor to be introduced in October is a silicon-based semiconductor device that offers stable operation without the use of optics. It is designed to be easy to integrate with various types of control circuits, memory, interfaces, and other technology. Also, it consumes very low amounts of power. The sensor surface can be easily adjusted according to the type of use, and optimal fingerprint analysis level can be achieved based on the choice of semiconductor manufacturing technology. It is built with a hard protective surface that is very damage-resistant.
Fujitsu's authentication software preserves privacy by making it impossible to recreate a fingerprint image from the stored fingerprint data. It offers superior levels of authentication accuracy with technology that compensates for image distortions due to finger rotation or shifting. Data stored for one fingerprint takes up just 300 to 600 bytes, easing data management. Fujitsu's authentication software will be bundled in a complete software development kit.
*FRAM is a trademark of RAMTRON International Corp. All other company/product names mentioned may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders and are used for identification purpose only.
Fujitsu is a leading provider of Internet-focused information technology solutions for the global marketplace. Its pace-setting technologies, best-in-class computing and telecommunications platforms, and worldwide corps of systems and services experts make it uniquely positioned to unleash the infinite possibilities of the Internet to help its customers succeed. Headquartered in Tokyo, Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 5.48 trillion yen for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2001.