Innolux to mass-produce world’s 1st flexible fingerprint sensors


TAIPEI, Taiwan — Innolux Corp. (群創), one of the leading flat panel makers in Taiwan, said Tuesday that mass production of the world’s first flexible fingerprint sensors is scheduled to kick off in the third quarter of this year.

Flexible fingerprint sensors are the result of cooperation between Innolux and Norway’s NEXT Biometrics Group ASA.

The two partners aim to build the device into the more-than 100 million smart cards, credit cards and prepaid cards issued each year globally, at a time when mobile payments are becoming more and more popular, Innolux said in a statement.

The new device is expected to become an important means of safeguarding information security, Innolux said.

The company said that the company and NEXT Biometrics have cooperated to work on development of rigid fingerprint sensors since 2011, and starting from 2016, rigid fingerprint sensors started to be shipped to personal computer and tablet computer brands around the world.

NEXT Biometrics Chief Executive Officer Ritu Favre said that flexible fingerprint sensors represent a technology breakthrough and that mass production planned for the third quarter is expected to catch the attention of potential customers who put emphasis on information security.

Ting Ching-lung (丁景隆), vice executive president of Innolux’s technology development operations, said that the company’s 3.5th- generation flat screen plant located in Chunan, Miaoli County, will provide production lines for flexible fingerprint sensors.

Ting said that with the patents provided by NEXT Biometrics and advanced production technology owed by Innolux, he has faith that the flexible fingerprint sensors will meet quality requirements.

In an annual general meeting held Tuesday, shareholders approved a proposal for Innolux to issue NT$0.1 in cash dividend per share for its 2016 earnings per share (EPS) of NT$0.19.

2016 was the fourth consecutive year in which Innolux recorded a profit, as the company successfully climbed out of a slowdown in the second quarter of the year, Innolux Chairman Wang Jyh-chau (王志超) said.

In the first quarter of this year, Innolux continued to strengthen its bottom line by posting NT$1.19 in EPS, up from NT$1.09 seen a quarter earlier, with its profit margin hitting a new high since 2010, Wang said.

The company’s shareholders also approved a proposal for Innolux to raise funds by issuing up to 950 million new shares.