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Infineon accelerates 3D facial recognition innovation

12 Mar 2020

Biometric authentication is continuing its streak of growth as innovation in the emerging technology is seen across industries.

One of the most visible intersections between fintech and biometrics is the use of 3D facial technology to authenticate transactions. 

Infineon Technologies is the latest enterprise to announce new technology in this realm, working with Qualcomm Technologies to develop a reference design for 3D authentication based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Mobile Platform. 

This represents an extension of Infineon’s portfolio of 3D sensor technology for mobile devices. 

Infineon developed the 3D ToF sensor technology within a collaboration with the software and 3D time-of-flight system specialist PMD Technologies.

Earlier this year, the two companies introduced the world’s smallest (4.4 mm x 5.1 mm) 3D image sensor with VGA resolution, which included enhanced photo features, authentic augmented reality experiences and 3D face authentication.

Infineon says the technology, which uses the REAL3 3D Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensor, features an easy-to-design integration for smartphone manufacturers. 

"Today, the smartphone is more than just an information medium; it is increasingly taking over security and entertainment functions," says Infineon division president power management & multimarket Andreas Urschitz. 

"3D sensors enable new uses and additional applications such as secured authentication or payment by facial recognition. 

“We continue to focus on this market and have clear growth targets. The collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies on reference designs using REAL3 image sensors underscores the potential and our ambitions in this area." 

New 3D application in 5G smartphones

As 5G-capable smartphones begin to arrive on the global market, demand for 5G-integrated technology is soaring.

Starting in March 2020, Infineon says its REAL3 ToF sensor will enable the video bokeh function for the first time in a 5G-capable smartphone for optimal image effects. 

Using the precise 3D point cloud algorithm and software, the received 3D image data is processed for the application. 

The 3D image sensor captures 940 nm infrared light reflected from the user and the scanned objects. 

It also uses high-level data processing to achieve accurate depth measurements. 

The patented SBI (Suppression of Background Illumination) technology from PMD offers a wide dynamic measuring range for any lighting situation, from bright sunlight to dimly lit rooms. 

This ensures the highest possible robustness without loss of data processing quality, says Infineon.

The announcement from Infineon comes as their commitment to provide support to A/NZ start-ups kicks in.

The company announced in October last year a memorandum of understanding with Arrow Electronics to provide start-up businesses in the APAC region with innovative products and engineering support to help them accelerate the idea-to-impact innovation journey.

"Infineon offers a wide range of microelectronics that connects the digital world of data with the real world of things, from sensors to security chips," says Infineon Technologies Asia Pacific president and managing director Chua Chee Seong.

"Infineon's collaboration with Arrow will offer start-ups the capabilities and innovations to develop the next generation of intelligent and intuitive devices."

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