Zwipe Completes Prototype Power Management Chip for Biometric Solutions

“The company says it will be targeting not only the smart card sector, but also wearables.”

Zwipe Completes Prototype Power Management Chip for Biometric Solutions

Zwipe has completed a prototype of what could become a critically important component of its biometric payment card business activities.

Dubbed the “Z5” chip, the solution is designed to consolidate components needed for energy harvesting and management for embedded biometric systems. This could offer cost and manufacturing efficiencies for products like biometric payment cards, which must be able to operate without the need to plug into charging stations.

On that note, Zwipe’s announcement of the prototype comes soon after its partnership with IDEMIA, which will revolve around the development of a biometric payment card solution with a streamlined design in terms of the number of components and their integration into a single chip.

Zwipe says its prototype Z5 has reached a stage at which it can successfully power on, and that it’s aiming to have commercial samples ready for the middle of next year, at which time mass production can begin. The chip will be offered both as a standalone component, and as a part of Zwipe’s embedded biometric inlay solution. The company says it will be targeting not only the smart card sector, but also wearables.

Commenting on the prototype’s completion in a statement, Zwipe CEO André Løvestam called it “an important milestone for the company, and a key part of Zwipe’s Generation NxT initiative focusing on cost reduction and supply-chain readiness to improve our competitiveness and facilitate our go-to-market and scale-up capacity,” adding, “Over the coming months, Zwipe will complete verification and qualification.”

The emergence of Zwipe’s latest solution, and its timeline into 2020, fall very much in line with larger trends in the emerging biometric payment cards market. Viable, foundational component technologies are now being announced and finding their way into partners’ products, with numerous players active in this market anticipating large-scale rollouts of fingerprint-scanning payment cards over the next year and beyond.