Today, Qualcomm is introducing its 3D Sonic Sensor Gen 2, the latest version of its fingerprint sensor that can scan your fingerprint even if there are contaminants. For example, it's meant to work even when your hand is wet. It uses ultrasonic waves to scan ridges, valleys, and pores on your finger for an accurate image.
This new generation has a larger surface area, but most importantly, it's faster. Speed was a complaint with the original version, so now Qualcomm is saying that Gen 2 is 50% faster. As for the size, it's 77% larger at 8x8mm. This larger surface area also allows for the sensor to read 1.7x as much biometric data. It's also thinner than ever at 0.2mm.
It combines that larger surface area with the faster processing to let you unlock your phone a lot faster than you would have been able to with the first-gen sensor, which was mainly used on Samsung's Galaxy phones including the S10, Note10, S20, and Note20.
As for when you can get your hands on the 3D Sonic Sensor Gen 2, Qualcomm said early 2021. You can probably expect to see it in the upcoming Galaxy S21, especially since Samsung was the only big player that used the first-gen sensor.