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 ELAN and STARTEK on Fingerprint Identification Products are in Strategic Alliance to Fight for the Huge Mobile Device Market Business Opportunities 
    Released Date: 2014/08/11

[Hsinchu] ELAN Microelectronics, a major touch controller IC design house in Asia and Fingerprint Identification well-known player, STARTEK Engineering Inc. officially announced a strategic alliance between the two parties for the fingerprint identification device market. The two compatriots-owned companies’ headquarters are located in the Hsinchu Science Park, jointly work together to reach an annual 1.6 billion unit market share of smart phones, tablet PCs and NBs, and break the current global fingerprint identification device market dominated by US-based players.

It is reported that in 2H13, the US firm Apple launch of Smartphone iPhone 5S pioneered the Touch ID fingerprint identification function, opening the market to explore the subject whether intelligent networking devices use fingerprint identification function, at the same time, Apple's Touch ID fingerprint identification came from the 2012 acquisition of AuthenTec company which mainly develop higher identification accuracy of area fingerprint sensor module. Immediately following that, in October 2013 in the non-Apple camp, to take a leading position, the US company Synaptics also merged with a Fingerprint Identification professional maker, Validity, and obtained Samsung GALAXY S5 used in smartphones, then gradually applied to tablet PCs and NBs. Preliminary estimates suggest that currently only a small number of well-known brands of smart phones are using fingerprint identification function, with roughly 10% market penetration. This will lead to subsequent extensive use of non-Apple smart phone brands, and extended to Tablet PCs and NB products, a profound market development potential.

It is said that a fingerprint identification device consists of two parts, one of which is a Fingerprint Sensor, and its main purpose is to collect complete fingerprint images. Fingerprint sensors have two types, the Capacitive-type and the Optical type. Another one is the Fingerprint Algorithm, after the end of the current fingerprint sensor capturing fingerprint images, such are handed over to the subsequent algorithm to process fingerprint images and extract fingerprint feature points. After generating a fingerprint template, the original fingerprint images will be discarded and then finally carry out fingerprint comparison. A good fingerprint recognition algorithm, in addition to the accuracy and speed, the most important thing is its capability to adjust its False Acceptance Rate and False Rejection Rate, depending on the application and the hardware architecture.

ELAN’s President Mr. I. H. Yeh, indicated that the company has invested in the field of touch IC over a long period of time as well as huge engineering human resources, accumulated hundreds of patents covering the United States, Japan, China, and Taiwan. In touch products segment, ELAN has created nearly NT$5 billion dollars of output value. ELAN’s client base is very solid, covering the world's first line of smart phones, tablet PCs and NBs brand manufacturers. It is a great honor to be in collaboration with STARTEK, the world's well-known player of fingerprint identification. This has complementary effects in technology, in the market and other fields, and can also enable real operation results. The mode of cooperation between the two sides is ELAN being good at designing ICs to offer fingerprint sensor and STARTEK providing expertise in Fingerprint Algorithm and jointly combine into a fingerprint identification module. On the basis of ELAN’s existing customer-base, ELAN is responsible for promoting the smart phone, tablet PCs and NB market. The two parties do not rule out a wide range of other areas for subsequent cooperation plans.

ELAN will also be launching simultaneously the two kinds of fingerprint identification devices, the optical type and the capacitive type. In optical fingerprint identification module, breaking through the biggest drawback which is thickness, is the launching of an optical module with a height of 4mm. There’s an added price advantage on the optical module type, allowing optical fingerprint identification devices to be easily integrated into NBs, and even more extensively used in handheld tablet PCs. For Thin Small border handheld products, there’s extremely limited space, in order to strike a balance between space and price considerations, ELAN will also launch ultra-thin, small area capacitive module. ELAN’s move to introduce these products that are suitable for different market requirements, at the same time, the more price-competitive press-type fingerprint identification products will significantly enhance the competitiveness of ELAN on the fingerprint identification market.

STARTEK’s President Dr. Wen-Hsing Hsu indicated that since its establishment 25 years back and up to now, the company upholds first-class product development and manufacturing for business objectives. Independent research and development, and to complete a number of world-class and unique products, and to develop key components and provide key technology for positioning, therefore, the company has been focused on developing the fingerprint identification technology, in manufacturing as well as in the product applications. Presently, the company has several dozens of patents at home and abroad. The company is using fingerprint feature points (ISO19794-2) comparison technique, with a unique image acquisition technology. In the development of fingerprint identification key technology, and even more, in the field of fingerprint identification, STARTEK is among the world's few, complete company with intellectual properties. STARTEK gathers local optical, mechanical, electronics, microprocessor, algorithms, software and in all aspects technical talents. Moreover, STARTEK professionally specializes in developing the fingerprint identification technology and applications toward miniaturization, cost reduction, system integration becoming more convenient. This cooperation with ELAN, a domestic IC design house, hopes that through the Chinese intelligent elites, seizing the market currently monopolized by US-based players and creating new market situations that allow both sides of the cooperative enterprise to be able to achieve mutual growth.

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