Qualcomm plans to launch its new Sonic Gen 2 3D fingerprint sensor and debut it on the Samsung Galaxy S21s later this week. This new, much larger fingerprint sensor is the successor, and is a supposedly faster and more accurate ultrasonic biometric reader.
Tech enthusiasts reading these lines may remember that in 2018 Qualcomm released the first generation of Sonic 3D sensor that used ultrasonic waves for fingerprint scanning. While it was safer than the optical fingerprint sensors we’re used to, the main flaw was the fact that it was noticeably slower than its so-called “inferior” optical counterparts.
It was also notorious for not performing well with wet fingers. Nevertheless, Samsung continued to use the same sensor across the entire range of its flagships from 2019 to 2020.
Larger sensors are (almost) always more efficient
Qualcomm’s new Sonic Gen 2 3D fingerprint sensor, which will most likely debut with the Samsung Galaxy S21 lineup, brings significant improvements over the previous model. The first and probably the biggest difference between the old and the new sensor is the size.
With its dimensions of 0.79 x 1.18 inches, the new sensor is significantly larger than its predecessor which was only 0.16 x 0.35 inches in diameter. Concretely, the new sensor is 77% larger than its predecessor. What for?
Qualcomm says the new sensor is not only 50% faster, it also performs much better with wet fingers. The larger physical size of the sensor allows it to capture 1.7 times more biometric data, making it even safer and faster than the previous model.
What’s also interesting is the fact that despite its size, the 3D Sonic Sensor Gen 2 isn’t Qualcomm’s largest ultrasonic fingerprint reader. That honor is reserved for the Sonic Max 3D sensor that the company showcased at the 2019 Snapdragon Summit conference. Sadly, it has yet to make its appearance on a smartphone.
With the Samsung Galaxy S21 launching in a few days, there’s a good chance you’ll have the opportunity to use this new under-display fingerprint sensor very soon.
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This article was translated from English and then editorially adapted by Florian Philon. The original version written by Rahul Srinivas was originally posted on NextPit.de on January 12, 2021.
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