Following Fujitsu's lead, Samsung is adding its second-generation iris scanner to its smartphones, to increase the security of user data. Iris recognition is starting to spread in the smartphone market, even if it remains far behind fingerprints. Users unlock the Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone simply by looking at the screen. Iris authentication is a biometric system that uses the patterns in the iris of the human eye. This technology allows the screen to be unlocked very fast, and eliminates the need for finger use, entering passwords or patterns.
Samsung's iris recognition system is composed of two elements: an infrared camera module and an infrared LED. Compared to fingerprint sensors, iris scanners are cost-effective solutions, due to the reuse of standard CMOS image sensor (CIS) and LED components. Furthermore, Samsung manufactures its own CIS.
The resolution of the Samsung camera module sensor is double the Fujitsu solution. This sensor is combined with the front camera module in one 11.2mm x 12.5mm package.
OSRAM manufactures the scanner's infrared LED, as it does for the iris recognition system from Fujitsu. However, Samsung's scanner uses the latest infrared LED from OSRAM, which has better specifications.
This report describes the supply chain of the full system including the IR camera module, CIS and infrared LED. It estimates the manufacturing cost and price for the infrared camera and the infrared LED. It also features a comparison with the Fujitsu iris scanner.