Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor will remain exactly as is in the next iPhone, if a new rumor from semi-reliable source DigiTimes is to be believed. The report says Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., (TSMC), will manufacture the sensor using the same 8-inch processing method used for the current batch.
TSMC was said to be investigating 12-inch processing methods for Touch ID in the next iPhone, but alleged yield issues have reportedly prompted Apple to go back to 8-inch wafer-level packaging, according to industry sources who spoke with DigiTimes. Sticking with the 8-inch process will give both Apple and TSMC “mature yield rates,” the report said.
Yield rates for the current 8-inch process are said to run above 95%, while the 12-inch process is seeing yield rates between 70 and 80%.
The report also suggest that the Touch ID sensor’s functionality will remain the same as it currently is, allowing users to unlock their iPhone 5s, and also to authorize iTunes purchases. Apple CEO Tim Cook has hinted, however, that the company has big plans for Touch ID in the future, possibly including using it for mobile payments on the iPhone.