Mon, Mar 04, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Egis to benefit from phone biometrics

CREDIT SUISSE OUTLOOK:Under-display finger-sensing is expected to become the predominant biometric identification method for high-end Android phones

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Taipei-based Egis Technology Inc (神盾) is likely to be one of the under-display finger-sensing chipmakers to benefit from the growing use of biometric identification among premium Android smartphones this year, Credit Suisse Group AG said in a recent report.

Its recent supply-chain check suggests that Android smartphone brands are turning more aggressive in adopting under-display finger-sensing, instead of 3D facial recognition, as they seek to increase a smartphone’s viewable area at an affordable cost, Credit Suisse said.

Higher build-of-materials (BOM) for 3D-sensing facial recognition, which was adopted by Apple Inc for its iPhone X, was one of the main reasons behind the shift to under-display finger-sensing, the report issued last month said.

China’s Oppo Mobile Telecommunications Corp (歐珀), Xiaomi Corp (小米) and Huawei Technologies Co (華為) have launched several high-end models with optical under-display solutions since the second half of last year, the report said.

Samsung Electronics Co of South Korea would also adopt optical under-display solutions for its mid-to-high-end A-series devices, the report said.

Two high-specification models of Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S10 series are to be equipped with Qualcomm Inc’s new under-display ultrasonic sensing solutions, while a lower-specification handset is to include Egis’ capacitive fingerprint solution integrated with the power button, the report said.

Under-display finger-sensing is expected to become the mainstream biometric identification method for high-end Android phones this year and next, with phones enabled by under-display fingerprint technology tripling to 175 million units this year from 30 million units last year, Credit Suisse said.

Egis secured fingerprint solution orders for four of Samsung’s A-series models, with shipments beginning in January, the report said.

“We believe Egis is also seeing good progress in non-Samsung smartphones for optical under-display fingerprint [solutions],” Credit Suisse analyst Jerry Su (蘇厚合) said in the report, referring to Chinese smartphone brands and Japanese companies.

As Egis is striving to become the second source for Huawei and Vivo’s flagship phone models, rivals such as Goodix Technology Inc (匯頂) have to lower prices to secure orders for optical under-display fingerprint solutions, while others, such as Silead Inc (思立微), Elan Microelectronics Corp (義隆), FocalTech Systems Co (敦泰) and Novatek Microelectronics Corp (聯詠), are still playing catch-up with under-display fingerprint technology, the report said.

Su said Egis’ solutions for its Chinese clients are estimated to reach 25 million units this year, more than double his previous estimate of 11 million units.

That could also help Egis to ramp up production of capacitive fingerprint solutions for Chinese and Japanese brands, he added.

Credit Suisse increased its target price on Egis to NT$310 from NT$215 on higher shipment assumption.

Shares of Egis closed at NT$213 on Wednesday, the last trading day in Taipei before the four-day 228 Peace Memorial Day long weekend.

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