IBM has integrated pioneering fingerprint semiconductor products to improve the access security of its latest laptops.
The technology, from Florida-based AuthenTec, provides advanced biometric fingerprint sensors to the PC, wireless, PDA, access control and automotive markets.
AuthenTec said that its EntrePad AES4000 fingerprint sensor, IBM's Client Security Software Version 3.0 and overall Embedded Security Subsystem Architecture will offer users a simplified touch-and-go security option for notebooks.
The EntrePad AES4000 is the company's latest, low-power, small form-factor fingerprint identification sensor integrated circuit.
It uses industry standard 0.35u CMOS technology and combines silicon-based image capture with proprietary sensor control and matching algorithms.
Scott Moody, chief executive at AuthenTec, explained that his company's collaboration with IBM resulted in a biometric peripheral device that integrates quickly and easily with IBM's software.
The fingerprint sensor that ThinkPad users will touch to gain access to their laptops is based on AuthenTec's patented TruePrint technology, which reads a fingerprint below the first layer of skin.
This subsurface capability eliminates any acquisition or recognition failures connecting to issues such as worn, soiled, moist or dry fingers that often defeat surface-based fingerprint technologies.
Moody said that the technology captures the details in a template used for future reference, but does not store an image of a complete fingerprint.
In February the EntrePad AES4000 sensor was embedded into Targus' Defcon Authenticator, a portable fingerprint peripheral for notebooks, desktops and servers.
AuthenTec and Texas Instruments are collaborating to integrate the technology into chipsets for devices that combine the functions of phones, PDAs and laptops.
The companies have demonstrated the technology working on a Texas Instrument chip designed for 2.5G and 3G phones and PDAs.
AuthenTec also announced that the scanner will be integrated with Novell's Modular Authentication Service.
The International Biometric Association said that sales of biometric hardware, fingerprint sensors, facial scanners and voiceprint analysers are expected to reach $600m (£418.2m) by 2003.
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