Shortly after the iPhone 5S has been announced with the new Touch ID sensor in tow, everyone expected the iPad Air and / or iPad Mini 2 Retina to feature the same technology as well. However, this hasn’t been the case, and the only Touch ID-enabled device in Apple’s current line-up remains the current flagship smartphone.
This year however, the situation will most likely change, and not too long ago a fragment of code from iOS 7.1 (or to be more specific – from the Biometric Kit) has suggested that the upcoming iPad Air 2 and Mini 3 could indeed feature the said technology. Today we circle back to the Touch ID topic, as new rumors concerning the sensor’s whereabouts have surfaced on the mobile blogosphere.
TSMC Has Already Provided The First Batch of Fingerprint Sensors for Next-Gen
According to the latest rumors, TSMC (short for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) has already provided the first batch of iPhone 6, iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 fingerprint sensors, sometime in mid-April. This bit of information comes from sources inside Sazhou Crystal Semiconductor Technology Co. – one of the subcontractors to which some “back-end” services have been outsourced. Another subcontractor mentioned by the report is Xintec
We should also remind you that TSMC is one of the companies responsible for producing the next-gen A8 chip, and that not too long ago, rumors were indicating that TSMC and Apple have agreed on using an 8-inch fab in order to produce the Touch ID, instead of a 12-inch facility that uses a 65nm manufacturing process. This was due to the risks associated with the 12-inch wafer-level packaging, and also the fact that TSMC’s 8-inch fab should deliver higher yield rates. The aforementioned rumors have also been confirmed by this new report.
Either way, the idea that the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini 3 will feature a fingerprint scanner of their own is getting stronger by the day. However, nothing is set in stone until Apple makes it official, so we’ll continue to keep our eyes peeled. Stay tuned.