Apple supplier makes first delivery of fingerprint sensors for iPhone 6

iPhone 5S hands on fingerprint scanner

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has reportedly started the delivery of fingerprint sensors for the upcoming iPhone 6, iPad Air 2, and the third generation iPad Mini. According to Chinese component website cecb2b.com, the company has made the first batch of deliveries of the fingerprint sensors, fulfilling its obligations using the same 8-inch fab processing method that was also used for the iPhone 5S.

Fabs pertain to semiconductor fabrication plants, which produce thin slices of semiconductor material called wafers. The higher the diameter of wafers, the better the production efficiency of the plants. In January, a report from DigiTimes said that the company was planning on transitioning to a bigger 12-inch fab. However, this report has proven to be inaccurate.

The news came through a source in Suzhou Jing Fang Semiconductors, a Shanghai-listed manufacturer that has been tapped for the assembly process. 

Aside from producing fingerprint sensors for Apple, TSMC is also responsible for the A8 mobile processor for the iPhone 6. According to a report from Taiwanese newspaper Commercial Times last March, the company displaced Samsung as the sole supplier for Apple’s next generation mobile devices chip. Samsung supplied all of Apple’s previous processor chips starting with the A4, which appeared in the original iPad (2010). Later, a ZDNet Korea report contradicted the Commercial Times’ claims, saying that Apple will be using chips from both companies. Samsung was also said to be at the final testing phase before commencing production of the chips. 

The TouchID feature first appeared in the iPhone 5S. A hacker group recently showed that the biometric security function can be tricked with a “fake finger.” In spite of the risks, which, according to our findings, are negligible, the feature will soon be making its first appearance in Apple’s iPad line.

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