Study: Silicon Fingerprint Sensor Market Set To Thrive

With almost every major PC manufacturer integrating silicon chip fingerprint sensors in their products, the market appears set to thrive. The success of silicon chip fingerprint technology will likely contribute to its integration in other consumer products such as door locks, safes, cell phones and PDAs.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, finds that the market earned revenues of $113.6 million in 2006, and estimates this to reach $1.9 billion in 2013.

"This exceptional growth in the silicon fingerprint market is primarily due to the growing popularity of biometric-enabled laptops and PC peripherals," said Frost and Sullivan Research Analyst Imran F Khan. "Also, increasing security concerns drive manufacturers from vertical markets toward a relatively safe and convenient security solution such as silicon fingerprint sensors."

Cell phone manufacturers in particular have recently expressed interest in silicon chip fingerprint sensors due to their small size and low power consumption, which make it an ideal security solution for portable and battery-operated devices. The growing popularity of silicon fingerprint-enabled laptops and cell phones will also likely fuel adoption of silicon sensors in door access, automobiles, and ATMs.

Despite several factors that drive market growth, the inability of silicon sensors to produce high quality and high-resolution images prevents their use in government ID applications and forensics, thereby limiting expansion in these sectors.

"To overcome the challenge posed by optical sensors, manufacturers are encouraging their research units to develop high-end silicon chips to get its scanning level to compete effectively with optical scanners," Khan said. "In addition, the recent FIPS201 certification of UPEK's TouchChip fingerprint sensors for use in government ID projects is likely to prompt other market participants to develop sensors with enhanced features and in turn, boost the general uptake of silicon sensors in the physical access control market."

Currently, manufacturers are hoping to boost revenues by introducing silicon sensor-enabled cell phones in the North American and European markets, after the huge success of similar cell phones in the Asia-Pacific region. Overall, key market participants' investments in the technological development of high-end silicon fingerprint sensors will determine the market's future growth.

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