Now it is possible to take pictures and authenticate iris with a single front Smartphone camera. Smartphones that were recently released with iris authentication function have separate modules for authenticating iris and taking pictures. When both functions are integrated into single module, production cost, area, and weight can be reduced. When production cost is reduced, it is expected that iris authentication technology can be expanded to low and middle-priced Smartphones.
Dongwoon Anatech Co., Ltd. made an announcement on the 23rd that it has developed IR (Infrared) filter changer driver IC for iris authentication technology and is currently working on design with South Korean and foreign Smartphone camera module manufacturers.
IR filter changer driver IC is a solution that allows a front camera module, which is equipped into a Smartphone as a basic component, to be used to authenticate iris. If cameras were to authenticate iris, they need to be operated under IR’s wavelength rather than visible ray’s wavelength. Dongwoon Anatech Co., Ltd.’s product operates an actuator depending on filming mode and either raises or lowers an IR filter in front of a camera lens.
Smartphone that was recently released has a separate camera module for iris authentication as well as a normal camera module. If Dongwoon Anatech Co., Ltd.’s solution is used, single module can implement both iris authentication function and self-camera function. Although Japanese semiconductor competitor has put out IC with identical function, Dongwoon Anatech Co., Ltd. states that its IC is better in all aspects such as area of chip, accuracy, and electricity consumption rate.
“Integrated module can reduce cost and it is more advantageous from design perspective since it takes up lesser space within a Smartphone.” said President Kim Dong-cheol. “It is predicted that camera modules with IR filters will become a trend for iris authentication solution in the future.”
It is expected that manufacturing cost will be reduced by 30% when number of camera modules decreases from two to one. Technical entry barrier of iris authentication technology for low and mid-priced Smartphones will be lowered while it was difficult to introduce this technology in the past due to increase in production cost.
Dongwoon Anatech Co., Ltd. is also planning to apply IR filter changer driver IC to variety of other devices such as security cameras and others. When it is applied to door locks and others, it is possible to establish a home IoT environment.
According to a market research firm called MarketsandMarkets, markets for iris authentication solutions will grow annually at an average rate of 23.4% and be worth $3.57 billion (4 trillion KRW) in 2020. Industries predict that rising Smartphone manufacturers will choose technologies that are related to iris authentication technology as Samsung Electronics is applying this technology to its major Smartphones.
Beside of iris authentication technology, Dongwoon Anatech Co., Ltd. also developed premium AF driver IC that supports OIS (Optical Image Stabilizer) technology in June and is currently working on design with major South Korean and foreign camera module manufacturers. Most of premium Smartphones that are released recently have this technology. Compared to normal AF driver IC, average unit cost of OIS products is higher by about 10 times. Experts in this industry believe that significant increase in performance will take place when Dongwoon Anatech Co., Ltd. starts to ship OIS products.
Dongwoon Anatech Co., Ltd. predicts that it will start making sales from products that derive from iris authentication technology and OIS technology in next year.
“We have been investing significant amount of money into researching and developing prototypes since last year.” said President Kim. “Based on our top share in camera AF driver IC markets, we are going to continue our growth by releasing variety of new products in OIS, iris authentication, vehicles, and electricity.”
Staff Reporter Han, Juyeop | email@example.com