updated 10:12 am EDT, Mon June 23, 2014
TSMC bulking up production
TSMC will start shipping a new generation of Touch ID sensors for Apple products in July, claims the China Times. Production is expected to jump a colossal 233 percent to 120 million units, presumably because the sensors will also be used in iPads for the first time. On top of this, though, the parts have allegedly been designed for better durability, and will be built at an expanded 8-inch fabrication facility.
It's generally anticipated that the new sensors will be used in 4.7- and 5.5-inch iPhones as well as new generations of the iPad Air and iPad mini. Until now Touch ID has been limited to the iPhone 5s, in part because of the limited amount of sapphire available for cover glass. Apple has partnered with GT Advanced on at least one sapphire plant, however, which should make widespread use cost-effective.
Touch ID should soon become integral to iOS. One of the features of iOS 8 is support for Touch ID in third-party apps, which will expand its use beyond the current sandbox of device unlocks and iTunes purchases.