Source: Nikkei Electronics Magazine
March 22, 2009

Ultra Thin Fingerprint Sensor Mounted on the IC Card Realized the Thickness of 0.2mm,
Nikkei Electronics Magazine, March 22, 2009

Pressure sensing type developed by US venture
e-Smart Technologies, Inc., from USA, parent company has developed an ultra thin flexible fingerprint sensor with the thickness of 0.2mm. It is mountable on the wireless IC card with the functions of personal identification, employee ID card, credit card and all kinds of e-Money. The technology can prevent the misuse of the card by someone else when lost. With the flexible characteristics, the sensor can be mounted on softer materials such as passport, and a variety of implementations of the sensor is also expected.

Utilization of TFT-LCD Panel Technology
The fingerprint sensor is composed of Amorphous Silicon on the stainless base.. It is pressure sensing type which senses the unevenness of the fingerprint by pressure. It has applied the LCD panel technology. The Amorphous Si TFT can be produced at low cost in mass production , said Mr. Tamio Saito, the CTO of e-Smart.

The size of pixel suited to LCD is 75um each. To keep cost down, the pixel size is just to recognize the adult’s fingerprint. However, the size will be down to 57um enough to sense the child’s fingerprint.

e-Smart has already completed the implementation of wireless IC card with other type of fingerprint sensor. The card is being implemented as citizen ID card and e-money card for the Ubiquitous Security Service Project in several major cities in Korea.

The card is embedded with the fingerprint sensor made by BMF using electrical capacity method on glass base.

The power is secured wirelessly with verification
e-Smart has provided its own technology for contactless IC card embedded with fingerprint sensor. (Pic.2)

For example, it is the technology to activate fingerprint sensor without batteries onto IC card. The power for the activation of fingerprint sensor is supplied through the wireless electric power during communication between contactless IC card and card reader.

According to Mr. T. Saito, the realization of this technology was not easy because only 50mW can be drawn from ISO14443 standard communication, and this power is much lower than the required 120mW for the activation of fingerprint sensor. In order to solve the problem, e-Smart has embedded high Q-level antenna onto the card to increase the power. More specifically, the technology draws magnetic field from the card reader to IC card.

Fingerprint data for the verification of cardholder is stored and processed within the card. If fingerprint data is stored in card reader and etc., then there is a possibility of theft. However, since the data is processed within the card, there is no such worry. The minimum memory capacity is required for fingerprint data storing, said Mr. T. Saito.

According to e-Smart e-Money is the application that Mr. T. Saito expects most. When the fingerprint sensor is implemented, e-Money card can be used safely and illegal use of the card can be prevented when lost. Mr. T. Saito already has given its system name “Global Market Exchange”™ (GME) and the I AM Card – “New Global Currency”™, and is carrying out active sales promotion.

©2009 e-Smart® Technologies, Inc.