New Industry Products

Industry-First Energy Harvesting Power Management Chip for Biometric Payment Devices

October 14, 2019 by Paul Shepard

Biometric technology company Zwipe announced the prototype manufacturing and successful power-on of its Z5 chip, an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) developed by Zwipe and supported by proprietary energy harvesting IP.

The Zwipe Z5 consolidates components required for contactless energy harvesting and power management in one chip, reducing cost and improving the power efficiency and the manufacturability of embedded biometric solutions.

This proprietary embedded chip will be a key commercial element for Zwipe’s biometric products for payment and beyond.

Commenting on this important breakthrough, André Løvestam CEO of Zwipe said, “this is 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. Over the coming months, Zwipe will complete verification and qualification. Commercial samples are planned for release mid-2020, at that stage mass production can start.”

The Zwipe Z5 chip will be sold as a single component and as part of Zwipe’s embedded system, the biometric inlay. Target customers are smart card and wearables manufacturers as well as original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in the emerging biometric payment market and in other verticals.

The development of this component is partially funded through a EUR 2.3 million (NOK 23 million) grant from the European Commission as part of Horizon 2020.

Zwipe’s core technology is focused along four central areas; energy harvesting and power management systems, biometric authentication algorithms, production and application methods at scale. The company’s biometric engine can be embedded in a wide range of form factors, however Zwipe’s current focus is developing products for the payments industry, for incorporation into payments instruments like cards and wearable devices.