iPhone 5S Fingerprint Sensor Likely Manufactured by Taiwanese Supply Chain

With a fingerprint sensor expected to be the key selling point of the iPhone 5S, Apple’s acquisition of Authentec will likely have visible (tapable?) results when the next generation iPhone arrives, adding another layer of security to iOS.


Ming-Chi Kuo, who has expressed his belief that the iPhone 5S will include a fingerprint sensor, has sent out another research report – obtained by MacRumors – in which he points out that the above feature will foster Apple’s relationship with Taiwanese companies.

In his research, Ming-Chi Kuo points to Authentec and its major manufacturing partner, which is none other than Taiwanese TSMC, the company rumoured to receive the A7-chip orders on 20nm process. Turns out, Authentec and TSMC have been working together for some time now, as highlighted by multiple reports, press releases and Chipworks studies.

From this perspective, it is pretty straightforward that Apple won’t shift away from a supplier and a partnership that has already proved to be successful: Authentec’s fingerprint sensors are manufactured by TSMC.

Kuo projects the possible production flow of the fingerprint sensor:

“Assuming this is the case, we predict a production flow of the fingerprint sensor as follows: Apple (design) –> TSMC (foundry) –> Xintec (wafer-level packaging) –> ASE and Sharp (module).”

The analyst expect Xintec to come into the picture for the wafer-level packaging process in the production flow – which is very likely given the fact that TSMC owns 43% of the shares of this Taiwanese company.