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TSMC works on fingerprint sensors for iPhone

Posted: 16 Jan 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:fingerprint sensor? iPhone 5s? capacitive touch sensor?

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) is working on fingerprint sensors for Apple's iPhone, according to a report. The sensors are being designed using 65nm manufacturing process technology at a 300mm wafer fab. Production is expected to commence in the second quarter, according to the report.

Touch ID was designed and released by Apple on the seventh generation of iPhone, the iPhone 5s. It is thought to be a capacitive touch sensor developed by AuthenTec (Melbourne, Florida), which was acquired by Apple in July 2012 for $356 million. AuthenTec worked with companies such as NXP Semiconductor prior to its acquisition by Apple.

TSMC has been making the Touch ID sensor for the iPhone 5s on 200mm wafer fabs at outsourcing packaging to Xintec, China Wafer Level CSP, and Advance Semiconductor Engineering Group, the report said.

However, packaging is an important part of ensuring the fingerprint sensor manufacturing yield and in-service reliability, so for 300mm production, TSMC is expected to handle wafer-level chip-scale packaging in-house, rather than passing it on to back-end service firms, said the report's unnamed sources.

Meanwhile, TSMC is expected to begin producing application processors for Apple on its 20nm process with ramp-up starting in the third quarter, the report said.

- Peter Clarke
??EE Times Europe

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