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Old Jun 20, 2013, 01:10 PM   #1
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Apple Applies for Patent on Fingerprint Sensor Packaging System




The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office today published an Apple patent application (via AppleInsider) filed in February of this year which addresses a system for packaging fingerprint sensors alongside conductive bezels in a single structure. The bezels deliver a small amount of electrical current to the user's finger, allowing the fingerprint to be read by the sensor.
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The present disclosure is related to integrated circuit packaging, and more specifically to methods and apparatus for integrally molding a die and one or more bezel structures, with portions of each exposed or at most thinly covered, for fingerprint sensors and the like. [...]

Traditionally, the bezel and the encapsulated die have each been separate elements, brought together in the process of assembling or packaging the sensor apparatus. That is, the bezel and die are not encapsulated together.
Fingerprint sensor package with sensor die (14/16) and conductive bezels (18)
The patent application goes on to describe some of the issues with previous fingerprint sensor assembly methods:
Quote:
Current fingerprint sensor structures require a number of discrete assembly steps. As the number of discrete elements and manufacturing steps increase, manufacturing cost increases and the potential for faulty or inaccurate assembly that negatively affects product consistency and yield losses increase. Discrete element sub-assembly is also a more time consuming process than integrated manufacturing. As in the general art of IC production, there is significant, ongoing commercial pressure to reduce cost, number of components, and number and complexity of manufacturing steps, and size of the completed structure.

Furthermore, the separate bezel and encapsulated die structures are often undesirably large final devices. Further still, it is desired that the bezel be as physically close to the sensors as possible to optimize the sensitivity of the sensor.
Cross section of finger on integrated sensor package
While the patent application was filed in February of this year, it actually appears to date much further back, as it is a continuation of a previous patent application filed in March 2010 and originally assigned to UPEK, Inc. That company was a 2004 spinoff of STMicroelectronics' fingerprint biometrics business. UPEK merged with AuthenTec in September 2010, and Apple ultimately gained the rights to the intellectual property when it acquired AuthenTec last year. Only one of the three inventors on the patent, Giovanni Gozzini, continues to work for Apple today.

Apple has been rumored to be adding a fingerprint sensor to its upcoming iPhone 5S as a differentiating feature compared to the iPhone 5. Rumors and speculation about Apple's interest in fingerprint sensor technology have been driven largely by its acquisition of Authentec, although evidence of the company's interest in fingerprint recognition dates back considerably further.

Article Link: Apple Applies for Patent on Fingerprint Sensor Packaging System
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 01:20 PM   #2
dragje
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Nice, I'm sure there will be software add-ons for this functionality. For example that you iPad or iPhone will play a barking sound when your cat is touching the device. Or when your girlfriend touches your iPhone screen that this device will send you an sms or something like that. Or what about a finger identification counter? One press on a button and it tells you how many different people have touched the device...

Yes, you're right....I'm bored right now..
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 01:20 PM   #3
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This will be useful for buying stuff (no more passwords) and Find my iPhone.
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 01:23 PM   #4
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Given the latest government snooping news, not sure I want my fingerprints easily available.
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 01:24 PM   #5
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I bet we don't see it until the iPhone 6. Wait, that's going to have NFC. I bet we don't see it until the iPhone 6s.
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 01:27 PM   #6
DarkWinter
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I realise this is a long shot, but please make it happen in the 5S.

Entering the passcode may be a first world problem but it is nevertheless tedious. The more of a rush I'm in, the more likely I am to get the darn thing wrong.
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 01:31 PM   #7
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In 2 years when everyone is doing fingerprint scanners like this, it will suddenly have been obvious.
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 01:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazwire View Post
Given the latest government snooping news, not sure I want my fingerprints easily available.
LOL, I am pretty sure the government already has most ppl’s finger print already.
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 01:40 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by SPUY767 View Post
In 2 years when everyone is doing fingerprint scanners like this, it will suddenly have been obvious.
and a standard technology that should be fairly and reasonably licensed by non-discriminatory terms....

----------

in before someone says "What if I burned my fingertips and i don't have fingerprints anymore!"
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 01:41 PM   #10
Jazwire
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LOL, I am pretty sure the government already has most ppl’s finger print already.
True, prob blood, hair & sperm samples as well.

Never been fingerprinted, that i know of.

But don't wanna make it that easy for them, either.
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 01:41 PM   #11
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I take it is doesn't merely sense a finger, but a particular finger. Therefore some sort of fingerprint format. Is this essentially a physical contact scanner?
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 01:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazwire View Post
Given the latest government snooping news, not sure I want my fingerprints easily available.
Although 99% of people have nothing to worry about, it is not "if" but "when" will Apple be subpoenaed for fingerprint data. Then again, if a law enforcement agency wants fingerprints, they could easily just request them from the individual, but this is going to make fingerprint searches easier on the grand scale.
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 01:44 PM   #13
Otis Bagotis
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Originally Posted by kenwk View Post
LOL, I am pretty sure the government already has most ppl’s finger print already.
I got fingerprinted as part of a merit badge activity in boy scouts. The cop who was doing it duped all these 12 year olds into doing it because no one thinks they're going to be a criminal at that age.

Oh well, here I am 15 years later and I've never had to worry about it.
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 01:47 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by bjsterilite View Post
and a standard technology that should be fairly and reasonably licensed by non-discriminatory terms....

----------

in before someone says "What if I burned my fingertips and i don't have fingerprints anymore!"
They are not patenting anything to do with the technology. This patent is in no way shape or form FRAND.
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 01:48 PM   #15
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You want to use someone's iPad? You must have their finger. Doesn't matter if that finger is dead or alive (or even attached tot he hand it came from). I'm sure the criminal types would be aware of this. For very sensitive data.
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 01:50 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkWinter View Post
I realise this is a long shot, but please make it happen in the 5S.

Entering the passcode may be a first world problem but it is nevertheless tedious. The more of a rush I'm in, the more likely I am to get the darn thing wrong.
Second that for swipe to unlock. I want to interact with the home button and have the phone wake. For you high security clearance types, you could avoid having to interact with your countermeasures.
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 01:53 PM   #17
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As I stated in another thread on Find My iPhone. Apple needs to modify the software to disable the ability to wipe iPhone or shut it off until either iTunes ID/Password are entered or user unlocks phone by entering pass code.

Couple that with a fingerprint sensor and you can have pass code with simplicity. That way if phone is lost or stolen you can track it until battery dies. Should stop thieves or at least catch them.
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 01:56 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by SPUY767 View Post
In 2 years when everyone is doing fingerprint scanners like this, it will suddenly have been obvious.
Motorola did it two years ago on the Atrix.
Nice feature, just poor location of the sensor. (it was integrated into the power button)

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Old Jun 20, 2013, 02:03 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Jazwire View Post
Given the latest government snooping news, not sure I want my fingerprints easily available.
Don't worry. Fingerprint sensors don't store finger prints. Just like Mac OS X does not store your password. In both cases the data are "hashed" and only the hash is saved. If some one looks at a hash they can not know the password or finger print.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkWinter View Post
I realise this is a long shot, but please make it happen in the 5S.

Entering the passcode may be a first world problem but it is nevertheless tedious. The more of a rush I'm in, the more likely I am to get the darn thing wrong.

I bet you will see this technology on door handles too. Keys are a hassel to cary around. Why not program the doors on your door and house to only open for the "right" people. No "swipe" the entire part of the handle where you grab it could be a sensor.
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 02:04 PM   #20
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"Now iCloud can remember your account names, passwords, and credit card numbers for you. And Safari can enter them automatically whenever you need to sign in to a site or shop online."

...but if all of that is behind a single weak password, it's still not secure at all. If it's all behind a fingerprint, otoh...

I fully expect iCloud Keychain and Passbook to work hand in hand with a fingerprint sensor for security. And maybe an upgraded Passbook that works directly with credit cards for pos purchases as well. Hopefully in iPhone 5S.
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 02:04 PM   #21
apfeljonas
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Originally Posted by Jazwire View Post
Given the latest government snooping news, not sure I want my fingerprints easily available.
Do you have a passport? If so, then they already have your fingerprints.

http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_2788.html#Two
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 02:06 PM   #22
Jazwire
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Do you have a passport? If so, then they already have your fingerprints.

http://travel.state.gov/passport/passport_2788.html#Two
Nope.

However, thats only for the new electronic passport. (Optional.)
http://www.ehow.com/list_6183539_fin...passports.html

http://travel.state.gov/passport/get...first_830.html
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 02:10 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by rjohnstone View Post
Motorola did it two years ago on the Atrix.
Nice feature, just poor location of the sensor. (it was integrated into the power button)

Image

oh boy! here we go with the whole "Apple is just copying" thing again
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 02:13 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Rocketman View Post
I take it is doesn't merely sense a finger, but a particular finger. Therefore some sort of fingerprint format. Is this essentially a physical contact scanner?
There's two main variants: one is basically an optical scanner that images your fingerprint, the other is capacitive, that also gets the fingerprint, but images using electrical impulses to create a contour/feature map based on depth (kind of like sonar).

In either case, there's a large sampling of various attributes, these are stored, then the scanner can match just a portion of the original scan to a current scan, which is how modern scanners will work with damaged/distorted fingerprints.
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 02:16 PM   #25
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oh boy! here we go with the whole "Apple is just copying" thing again
Oh boy, here we go with getting defensive about seeing facts!
Seriously... grow up.

Yes... in this instance, Apple is copying a feature that has been used on a mobile phone before.

Let's just hope their implementation is better or it will disappear just as fast as the one on the Atrix did.
Motorola dropped the feature on the Atrix 2.
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