Corrected: Taiwan’s Innolux, Startek, Super C-Touch to tap India’s fingerprint reader market

08, Mar. 2019

Corrects second paragraph to clarify the role of the three companies and the year in 8th paragraph

TAIPEI, NNA – Taiwanese liquid crystal display maker Innolux Corp. and two local partners have teamed up to launch a glass capacitive fingerprint reader, initially selling it in India where the government is moving to digitalize identity verification technology.

With Innolux and sensing technology developer Super C-Touch Corp., fingerprint module provider Startek Engineering Inc. plans to start mass production of the identification device in Taiwan in the third quarter and begin shipments early next year, they said at a press conference this week.

The world’s second most populous country lacks thinner, affordable, large-area fingerprint sensors, and that has driven the three firms to form a high-yield one-stop supply chain to tap into the market, Innolux said in a statement.

Startek has adopted the technology of glass sensors manufactured by Super C-Touch and Innolux to produce the reader. The three firms are targeting the banking, retail and catering payment markets in the South Asian nation, Innolux said in the statement.

“Our thin, high-sensitivity, customized device features sensing circuitry mounted on TFT-LCD (thin-film-transistor liquid crystal display) glass, instead of conventional wafers as a carrier, with our exclusive perturbation resonance technology,” said Howard Wang, Vice Chairman of SuperC-Touch. The glass is larger, thinner and lighter than conventional wafer fingerprint identification sensors, he added.

The glass substrate is sourced from Innolux’s generation 3.5 low-temperature polysilicon plant. As its area is 14 times greater than that of eight-inch wafers, the replacement would allow for larger manufacturing capacity and competitive pricing, Dr. CK Wei of Innolux’s Technology Development Center told reporters.

The Indian government has introduced a series of policies to digitalize the country, including the Digital India program to register its 1.2 billion citizens for a 12-digit Aadhaar identity number enabling them to access government services online. The Universal Payment Interface policy in 2016 has helped drive the growth of the Indian mobile payment market, according to Innolux.

Startek Engineering has been working with the Indian public sector for more than a decade and is one of the important suppliers of optical fingerprint readers in India, according to the statement. In 2017, Startek supplied more than one million optical fingerprint readers to Indian banks and telecom service providers.

The alliance’s next focus after India is China, where the government aims to complete fingerprinting the entire population by 2020 and is promoting the mobile electronic Know-Your-Customer (eKYC) system, Startek Chairman Hsu Wen-Hsing said in a statement.

“Our targeting markets are India and China with a scale of more than 2 million units” combined, Hsu told reporters, adding he hoped to see the number increase by multiples within five years from 2020.