Glossary

The following terms and definitions are used in the context of the NEXT Biometrics Web site and documentation.

1:1 matching - comparison of current biometric data with only one claimed reference; typical for the verification use case

1:many matching - comparison of current biometric data with database of users. This can be a small group or a larger population and the process is named identification…

2D fake  -  a printout of a genuine fingerprint targeting to fool a sensor

3D fake  -  artificial fingerprint made of e.g. rubber, gelatin or silicone to mimic the fingerprint of a legitimate user

Active Area  -  area of a fingerprint sensor that actually senses signals from a finger under touch (excluding all other elements of the sensor) 

API  -  Application Programming Interface  -  Set of functions exported to application developers for using hardware or functions

ASIC  -  Application Specific Integrated Circuit  -  Customized integrated circuit for a particular purpose

Area sensor  -  (also called "Touch Sensor")  Fingerprint sensor format in the shape of a rectangular area. The user touches the sensor intuitively like a button.

Attempt  -  Submission of biometric data for comparison with stored reference data

AFIS  -  Automated Fingerprint Identification System  -  Highly specialized system for identifying a fingerprint or fragment in a large database; normally operated by governments (criminal AFIS and Border Control)

Bifurcation  -  Point in a fingerprint where a friction ridge forks or splits to form two ridges  

Biometric Data  -  Data collected during an enrollment, verification or identification process including raw sensor data, processed data, characteristic extracted features.

BSoC  -  Biometric System-on-Card  -  System architecture and product including a biometric sensor processing and storage. Mostly also including security functions.

Biometrics  -  Identification of humans via physical or behavioral characteristics

Bluetooth  -  Wireless technology standard for interchanging data over short distances

CPU  -  Central Processing Unit  -  Main processor in an electronic product

CE  -  Conformité Européenne  -  Standards committee and set of tests for electronic products

DCA  -  Data Capture Asic  -  System component responsible for controlling a NEXT raw fingerprint sensor

DES  -  Data Encryption Standard  -  Common symmetric crypto algorithm

Distortion - Unwanted deviation from the original signal. Distortion is common in low cost optical sensors that extend the outer regions of the touching pane and make the fingerprint image look uneven.

DSP  -  Digital Signal Processor  -  specialized microprocessor designed for digital signal processing

dpi  -  dots per inch  -  Measure for density of pixels in inches system (common in imaging technology)

EEPROM  -  Electrically Erasable Programmable ROM  -  Non-volatile type of memory that can be read fast.

Enrollment  -  Process of reference data collection in a biometric system

EER  -  Equal Error Rate  -  System configuration and statistical event when FMR equals FNMR. EER is one measure for the accuracy of a biometric system although it may not be a pragmatic working point. Sometimes similar to FAR = FRR.

FTA  -  Failure to Acquire  -  Failure of a biometric sensor or system to capture useful data from a person presenting a biometric trait

FTE  -  Failure to Enroll  -  Failure of a biometric algorithm or system to extract enough characteristic data from a presented biometric trait

Fake fingerprint  -  artificial fingerprint (2D or 3D) targeting to fool (spoof) a sensor system

FAR  -  False Acceptance Rate  -  Probability that a non-legitimate user by chance is accepted in a biometric comparison (final access status after allowed number of attempts)

FMR  -  False Match Rate  -  Probability that a non-legitimate user by chance is accepted in a biometric comparison (single trial)

FNMR  -  False Non-Match Rate  -  Probability that a legitimate user by chance is not recognized as such and rejected in a biometric comparison (single attempt)

FRR  -  False Rejection Rate  -  Probability that a legitimate user by chance is not recognized as such and rejected in a biometric comparison (final access status after allowed number of attempts)

FCC  -  Federal Communications Commission - (U.S.) regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable.

FIPS-201  -  Federal Information Processing Standard 201  -  Standard for Personal Identify Verification of US government employees. For single fingerprint readers, it specifies a minimum resolution of 500dpi and a minimum active area of 0.5x0.65 inches among other requirements. 

Fingerprint  -  Unique pattern of papillary ridges and valleys in the fingers of a human individual

FpVTE  -  Fingerprint Vendor Technology Evaluation  -  Fingerprint algorithm evaluation organized by NIST

FVC  -  Fingerprint Verification Competition  -  Event and statistical analysis organized by the University of Bologna

Identification  -  Comparison of currently collected biometric data with a database of enrolled users finding the one matching reference.

Impostor  -  Person submitting biometric data to a system in an attempt to claim the identity of a legitimate enrolled person.

Incipient ridges  -  Small ridges without pores between the normal ridges in a fingerprint

OATH  -  Initiative for Open Authentication  -  Industry standard for OTP generation

ICC  -  Integrated Circuit Card  -  Smart Card with an embedded Microprocessor

IP  -  Intellectual Property  -  Set of patents, ownership rights and trade secrets of an organization

IFD  -  Interface Device  -  Device for connecting a smart card (ICC) with a host system

ISO  -  International Standardization Organization  -  Biggest publishing organization for international industry standards

Latent fingerprint  -  a fingerprint left on a surface touched by an individual. Latent prints on sensors a potential factor of disturbance for verification.

LED  -  Light Emitting Diode  -  Electrical components generating light from current

Match-on-Card  -  see On-Card Biometric Comparison

Matching  -  Comparing current biometric feature data with stored reference data

MCU  -  Micro-Controller Unit  -  Processor with core, calculation entity and storage entity

MIPS  -  Million Instructions per Second  -  Number of instructions carried out per second on a processor

Minutia  -  Local point pattern in a fingerprint image. Most common types are Bifurcation and Ridge End

Multi-factor Authentication  -  Authentication process involving a minimum of two different factors from the following categories:

+ possession of device (like a token, key, smart card, ... )

+ knowledge (PIN, password, answer, ... )

+ characteristic, i.e. biometric (finger, face, iris, ... )

Multimodal Biometrics  -  Using more than one biometric trait to identify a person, e.g. fingerprint and face

NFC  -  Near Field Communication  -  Interface specification for contactless communication

Noise  -  Unwanted disturbing signals in a fingerprint image

NRE  -  Non-Recurring Engineering  -  One-time effort in the development or implementation of a project

On-Card Biometric Comparison  -  Comparison of currently collected biometric data and biometric reference data in a security chip

OTP  -  One-Time-Password  -  An algorithm generated number to validate transactions and authentication.

PCBA  -  PCB Assembly  -  A printed circuit board with electrical components mounted

Permanent Disability  -  Situation where an individual permanently cannot use a certain biometric sample, e.g. lost extremity in accident

PIN  -  Personal Identification Number  -  a secret number of normally 4 to 8 digits known only to a legitimate user of a security system

Pixel  -  smallest picture element in a display or sensor

ppcm  -  pixels per centimeter  -  measure for the density of pixels, e.g. in a fingerprint sensor

ppi  -  pixels per inch  -  see dpi

Population  -  total group of users of a biometric system

Pore  -  Ending of a sweat gland duct on the outer skin of a human

PCB  -  Printed Circuit Board  -  Board containing conductive and isolated elements to mount and connect electronic components

PID  -  Product Identifier  -  Unique identifier for USB products, assigned by the registered vendor; format defined by usb.org.

PKI   -  Public Key Infrastructure  -  An architecture of communicating entities holding certified public keys and secret keys.

RF  -  Radio Frequency  -  Method and Interface for contactless communication via radio waves

RFID  -  Radio Frequency Identification  -  contactless technology using low-power tags for identification based on possession

RAM  -  Random Access Memory  -  Memory type in an electronic product that can be read and written fast.

ROM  -  Read Only Memory  -  Memory type in an electronic product or components that can only be read.

ROC  -  Receiver Operating Characteristic  -  Statistical analysis of biometric algorithm or system strength. FNMR is plotted against FMR - sometimes similar for FRR against FAR

RISC  -  Reduced Instruction Set Computing  -  Chip architecture category for microcontrollers.

RoHS  -  Restriction of Hazardous Substances  -  Environmental standard for electronic products.

Ridge end  -  Point in a fingerprint where a friction ridge ends

RSA  -  Rivest-Shamir-Adleman   -  popular public key crypto algorithm

Sensor module  -  Electronic component consisting of a NEXT fingerprint sensor and NEXT DCA mounted to a substrate with discrete electronic components

SPI  -  Serial Peripheral Interface  -  Common interface standard for serial communication using 4 pins/wires.

Spoof  -  see fake fingerprint

SMD  -  Surface Mounted Device  -  Production process mounting electronic components on top of a PCB without holes

Swipe sensor  -  Fingerprint sensor technology that uses a sensor size in the shape of a line requiring the user to sweep the finger over in a smooth and consistane movement.

Template  -  Characteristic features extracted from a biometric sample, e.g. a fingerprint

Temporary Disability  -  Situation where an individual temporarily cannot use a biometric sample, e.g. an injured and bandaged finger

TFT  -  Thin Film Transistor  -  Display technology relying on transistors

Token  -  Portable object including unique information for identification, e.g. a smart card

TPM  -  Trusted Personal Module  -  Security chip in a notebook or PC

UL  -  Underwriter Laboratories  -  US organization for product safety

USB  -  Universal Serial Bus  -  Interface, standard and protocol specified by an industry consortium

VID  -  vendor identifier  -  unique identifier for registered providers of USB products, administrated by USB.org

Verification  -  Process of comparing currently collected biometric data with previously stored reference data