As the fingerprint authentication technology becomes more and more popular on phones and tablets, the prices of the components involved in the system are dropping. Chinese and Taiwanese suppliers are expanding their presence and fingerprint sensors are dropping their prices.
Word has it that 2015 will bring prices as low as $5 for such components, according to industry insiders. Elan Microelectronics from Taiwan, or companies like Egis Technology and Pixart Imaging are all involved with rolling out new generations of fingerprint solutions in the first half of the year. Chinese firms Goodix and Silead will also bring in house solutions of this sort.
Prices of the sensors are in the $7-8 range right now, said the same sources. The manufacturing cost for a fingerprint sensor built using 0.18 micron process technology is around $3, so suppliers cutting their prices to $5 isn’t damaging their profits. Chinese and Korean handset makers are looking for cheaper fingerprint sensors, which isn’t necessarily a good thing, because eventually there will be one big security mishap and people will lose faith in the system.