Prototypes & Products: FC15A140


In 1997, we designed a new chip, the FC15A140, using a new CMOS process (the previous version was using a process that was no more available), and taking advantage of what we learned with the first version. The chip was released in 1998.


The FC15A140 was the industrial version of the FingerChip, replacing the FC2x17 prototype. It was a 30x280 pixels 500 dpi sweep-type CMOS chip.

The DIL (Dual In Line) ceramic package was the official package for production.

FC15A140 ceramic package

But the ceramic package technology was expensive and pretty big, so we started to study a COB (Chip-On-Board) solution, using techniques closer to printed circuits with flexible connection for high volume applications.

FC15A140 COB
FC15A140 COB with flex
  • (1999 Jul) Proof of concept of a smart card with a swipe sensor, the FingerChip.
  • Application note

  • FCDEMO3

    The FCDEMO3 was the first demo kit made with the FC15A140. The design was slightly the same than FCDEMO2, excepted that it was not fully flat to enhance the ergonomics, and the LED ramp removed.
    Right image: copyright Square des photographes.

    FCDEMO3

    FCEV

    FCEV was an evaluation board for developers.

    In 1999, an "accelerator" was developed using this board, and added to the FCDEMO3 (FCDEMO3BS). In fact, this accelerator was throwing away some lines, and only 8 lines were kept, so the number of slices per second was higher, enabling faster sweeps. It was a simulation of the next version of the chip.

    FCEV evaluation board FCEV connected to a laptop

    FCSWEEP1

    FCSWEEP1 was a USB version of the demonstration, using low cost manufacturing tools. Sometimes called the Sweepee.

    FCSWEEP1

    The FC15140 was the first chip that has been used in some third-party projects.