STMicroelectronics and IDEX Announce Agreement to Develop Fingerprint Recognition and Pointer Technology for the Wireless Market

STMicroelectronics and IDEX asa (Norwegian OTC) announced today that they have signed an agreement for the development of an innovative, miniature biometric module, combining fingerprint recognition and on-screen navigation features for mobile Internet applications. The SmartFinger(TM) module will provide a unique and cost-effective solution for mobile commerce applications that have a very small form-factor and very low power consumption including wireless multimedia terminals, smart phones and portable equipment such as personal digital assistants (PDAs). Enabling high-security transactions, the SmartFinger module removes the need for login codes, pin numbers and passwords for the terminal user and wireless network operator. Intuitive Web navigation and personal file management will be possible with pointer capabilities, eliminating the need for a mechanical roller. The combination of fingerprint technology from IDEX and ST's state-of-the-art semiconductor processes and the company's vast experience of the telecommunication market will provide equipment manufacturers with a leading-edge solution for next-generation mobile handsets and a competitive roadmap towards 3G and multimedia terminals. The SmartFinger module will strengthen the position of ST in the field of solid-state fingerprint biometric solutions. ST is already a leader in this emerging market with the TouchChip(TM) product family, which offers a full biometric subsystem solution, with over one hundred thousand silicon area sensors already shipped. Andrew Heap, CEO of IDEX, commented: "We are delighted to be working with such a world-class semiconductor manufacturer. By combining our unique, patented AC-capacitive SmartFinger sensor technology, which yields superior image quality with pointer functionality, IDEX is able to supply innovative technology that enables ST to reinforce its leadership position in the wireless market." "We have selected IDEX as a supplier of IP solutions for biometric fingerprint and pointer functionalities for the wireless market," said Aldo Romano, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of ST's Telecommunications, Peripherals and Automotive Groups. "By combining their valuable intellectual property with ST's technology capabilities, we are in a position to build and deliver optimized biometric solutions for next-generation wireless terminals. IDEX technology will enable us to produce a highly competitive solution with a fast time-to-market."