Finger on the trigger

Fingerprint recognition technology typically relies on external processing equipment, and the attendant cost and space requirements have tended to limit its application. However, Oxford Micro Devices claims to have invented a DSP chip which combines with a fingerprint sensor to create a standalone battery-powered fingerprint verification system.

Oxford’s A236 digital image processor which will handle all the processing, device control and information management can, says the company, be combined with any small fingerprint sensor.

A Thomson-CSF FingerChip sensor is being used which captures an image of the user’s fingerprint when it is drawn over the sensor. The A236 chip then reconstructs a complete fingerprint image from the partial images produced by the sensor which is analysed for key features and compared with reference files of authorised users’ fingerprints.

This technology is ideally suited for applications which preclude the use of bulky external processors, such as hotel room door locks, and car ignition locks.