Chip firm secures gun safety

Chip firm secures gun safety
Roy Rubenstein Gun manufacturers are talking to a US semiconductor firm about introducing a biometric-based trigger into the weapons they sell. According to Oxford Micro Devices (OMD), a US DSP company, the guns will have a fingerprint verification system built into the handle, ensuring that they can only be fired by their rightful owner. “We are in serious discussions with multiple gun manufacturers,” said Steve Morton, OMD’s CEO and president. The fingerprint verification system is based on the company’s A236 video DSP and a fingerprint sensor from French firm Thomson CSF. “Fingerprint verification involves acquiring a mass of pixel data and doing tons of calculations,” said Morton; a task suited to the A236, he claims. The 40MHz A236 is a parallel processing architecture and has three physical ports as well as dedicated video compression hardware. According to Morton, the fingerprint verification system is small enough and has a sufficiently low power consumption to be included within a smartcard. “We are already working with a major software house to port the Java operating system to the A236.” Samsung Semiconductor is manufacturing the DSP from Oxford.


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