Synaptics' new fingerprint sensor isolates authentication from the rest of your PC

Alongside all of the major laptop news coming out of Computex 2018 in Taipei, Synaptics has slipped its own announcement in the mix – and it's pretty exciting. The company today announced its latest fingerprint sensor, which aims to keep authentication safe from potential hardware attacks and malware in the rest of your PC.

The FS7600 Match-in-Sensor family differentiates itself by being what Synaptics claims is "the industry's first fully hardware encapsulated fingerprint sensor and matching solution." That's a long way of saying the entire authentication process is kept isolated from the rest of your system's hardware.

The new Synaptics sensor operates as a System-on-Chip architecture, performing any authentication necessary on a single chip. Currently available match-on-host sensors are potentially less secure because they have to send fingerprint data back and forth with the host processor for authentication, which could open them up to attacks.

"Hardened authentication is literally 'off the grid', isolating fingerprint image enrollment, pattern storage and biometric matching within the fingerprint sensor to provide best-in-class protection against on-device threats," Synaptics says.

In a statement, Dave Bossio, Group Program Manager, Operating System Security, at Microsoft said: "Synaptics is a long-time trusted partner of Microsoft in the development of highly secure biometric authentication. We recognize Synaptics' match-in-sensor fingerprint security as one of the highest in the industry, and are pleased to work closely with Synaptics in the development of next generation security platforms to support our OS strategy."

According to Synaptics, the FS7600 family is ready to start shipping in PC peripherals starting in "early Q3." We should also see the new sensor shipping in Windows laptops with the next refresh cycle.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl