In an increasingly digital world, biometrics hold the key to keeping humans secure and connected, but the potential ubiquity of biometric sensors is currently challenged by the cost, supply and slow design turnaround of silicon chip-based sensors.
FlexICs are a new type of integrated circuit: flexible, cost-effective, highly customizable and the only real alternative to silicon chips for biometric sensors.
Video: The future of fingerprint biometrics is here
Watch the short video and discover a revolution that excels in applications like payment cards and access cards.
Why choose FlexICs for fingerprint smart cards?
Fingerprint smart card applications
Increasing payment security
As financial fraud increases, consumers are increasingly concerned about bank card security. Banking institutions need to ensure that payments are as secure as possible – without compromising on convenience.
Biometric bank cards, using fingerprint authentication, bring an additional layer of security, without slowing down transaction times.
Personal data is stored securely on the card, protecting privacy and making transactions at least as secure as those using a PIN.
Enabling secure access
If lost or stolen, standard access cards could be used to gain unauthorised access to secure areas.
Biometric fingerprint smartcards ensure only authorised, registered personnel can gain access to secure property or assets – whether physical, such as buildings, or logical, such as software.
By integrating with existing NFC readers, biometric cards provide a cost-effective alternative to the installation of fingerprint scanners at each access point.
Preventing ticket fraud
Counterfeit and inflated resale ticketing is a major challenge for the events and experience industries – particularly for high-value, multi-use passes.
Fingerprint-secure cards require ticketholders to match the purchaser fingerprint at the point of entry.
By integrating with existing NFC readers, biometric cards eliminate the need to install fingerprint scanners at each access point.
FlexICs are a low-cost, flexible alternative to traditional, silicon-based microchips.
FlexICs are around 30 microns thick – thinner than a human hair – so sit so sit comfortably within sensor arrays for dynamic applications.
FlexICs are ideal for use where it would not be cost-effective—or even possible—to use silicon. As the name suggests, they’re physically flexible, so they can be used where silicon chips can’t, such as on curved or domed surfaces. And while silicon chip development can take months – if not years – FlexICs’ rapid development and production cycles can take new designs from concept to delivery in just weeks.
FlexICs are perfect for bringing intelligence to low-cost items as part of the Internet of Things (IoT) or anywhere ‘tiny technology’ is needed. While they’re not a replacement for powerful, cutting-edge chips, they’re ideal as an alternative to the so-called ‘legacy’ chips that are found everywhere from consumer electronics to medical devices and smart spaces. Just like silicon, FlexICs can be embedded within a product, or used as part of an RFID label, for example.
FlexIC production uses significantly less energy and 100 times less water than silicon microchips, and fewer harmful chemicals. It also uses just one greenhouse gas, carbon tetrafluoride (CF4), in tiny quantities, equivalent to 0.00000117g CO2 per FlexIC. This naturally results in a significantly lower carbon footprint.
FlexICs enable the creation of large pixel sensor arrays capable of producing clear images at up to 500 dpi. A larger sensor size allows more data to be captured, and processing complexity to be reduced, permitting more cost-effective sensor design.
Webinar: A silicon-free future for biometric sensors
On Thursday 12 October, our Foundry Commercial Director, Vincent Barlier and Senior Director Design Platform, David Verity hosted a webinar – in partnership with Biometric Update – on how Pragmatic’s unique flexible integrated circuits (FlexICs) can enable a silicon-free future for applications such as fingerprint smart cards.