Sharp Selects Atmel Fingerprint Sensor for Fingerprint-protected Tablet

11/5/2003 - Atmel® Corporation (Nasdaq: ATML) announced that the number one selling sweeping sensor, the AT77C101B FingerChipTM biometric sensor, has been selected by Sharp Corporation to provide logon security for its newest and first fingerprint-protected Tablet PC®, Sharp Mebius Muramasa PC-TN1-H1W.

Integration of the FingerChip into Sharp's Tablet PC provides users with improved security and increased convenience towards protecting their information. The need to type a password or write it openly on the Tablet PC display is replaced by faster logon through a simple finger swipe on Atmel's FingerChip, preventing access to personal information, or critical data or illegal use of the device by a third party.

"Atmel FingerChip continues its adoption in consumer markets thanks to its low cost, high image quality and very small form factor. This solution offers high security of the users personal data, ensuring that information remains safe if the Tablet PC computer is lost or stolen. It also increases end-user convenience, providing Sharp customers with a more enjoyable experience with their Tablet PC" said David Richard, Atmel Biometrics Worldwide Marketing Manger.

Atmel designed the FingerChip to provide a cost-effective small form factor solution that will meet the demands of biometric security for space constrained mobile applications. The FingerChip utilizes a unique patented method for imaging the entire finger by "sweeping" it across the sensor. Sweeping captures successive images (slices), then uses software to reconstruct the fingerprint. This method allows the FingerChip to return a large, high-quality, 500 dots per inch image of the fingerprint. This image is then processed through authentication software, to extract a template, which is used for fingerprint comparison.

The FingerChip is a CMOS thermal fingerprint sensor with a 0.4 mm X 14 mm scanning area, and an overall package area of 26.6mm X 9.8 mm with a height of 1.5mm. The sensor measures the temperature differential between the skin ridges and the air caught in the fingerprint valleys. This method provides a high quality image even on poor quality fingerprints such as ones that are dry or worn with little depth between the peaks and valleys of the fingerprint. The thermal technology also operates well under extreme environmental conditions, such as extreme temperatures, high humidity, dirt, oil and water contamination.

In addition to providing a small form factor, the sweeping method also has the added benefit of self-cleaning the sensor, thus avoiding latent fingerprints. Latent fingerprints are prints left behind on a non-sweeping sensor which not only can cause problems with future reads, but also leaves an image that can be copied and possibly used to gain access to a system.

About Atmel
Founded in 1984, Atmel Corporation is headquartered in San Jose, California with manufacturing facilities in North America and Europe. Atmel designs, manufactures and markets worldwide, advanced logic, mixed-signal, nonvolatile memory and RF semiconductors. Atmel is also a leading provider of system-level integration semiconductor solutions using CMOS, BiCMOS, SiGe, and high-voltage BCDMOS process technologies.

Atmel, the Atmel logo and combinations thereof are registered trademarks, and FingerChip is trademark, of Atmel Corporation or its subsidiaries. Tablet PC is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.

Information on the AT77C101B can be retrieve at:
For further information on Atmel's biometrics, go to:

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