AMD and Synaptics have announced they are working on biometric security technology with Microsoft, for what it mysteriously described as a 'next-generation Microsoft operating system.'

Announced as part of the push to get AMD's Zen architecture processors, in the form of the company's Ryzen Mobile platform, into more laptops, the partnership sees AMD and Synaptics cooperating on a next-generation fingerprint sensor technology in which all biometric authentication - from enrolment data to matching - is carried out in a dedicated system-on-chip (SoC) isolated from the host operating system.

'At AMD, security is a top priority. As part of our ongoing commitment, hardened biometric security is a critical requirement for our next-generation Ryzen Mobile platforms,' says AMD Client Compute Business Unit general manager Saied Moshkelani of the work. 'We are excited to be working with Synaptics and Microsoft in a collaborative effort to develop and deliver one of the most secure Ryzen Mobile platform to date.'

'With the growing adoption of fingerprint sensors on notebook PCs across both business and consumer platforms,' adds Synaptics' Godfrey Cheng, 'there has never been a more critical time to broadly implement very strong biometric authentication to protect enterprises and enable secure consumer mobile payments against deviant black hat hackers.'

The companies' announcement, though, contains an interesting piece of phraseology: The claim that the technology will make use of 'Microsoft’s forthcoming biometric security OS including Windows Hello.' While the latter refers to the built-in multi-factor authentication system featured in Windows 10, the former would appear to suggest that Microsoft is planning a new operating system release with a focus on tighter biometric-based security - and, if so, it's the first anyone has heard of it.

Microsoft itself, though, has not commented on the partnership nor the announcement, leaving it up in the air whether the companies are discussing a mere update to Windows 10 to upgrade Windows Hello's integration with the operating system or the impending launch of a whole new operating system entirely - though the safe money would be on the former and awkward phrasing on the part of the announcement's copy writer.

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October 14 2021 | 15:04