Apple's US application 20150178542: FINGER BIOMETRIC SENSOR INCLUDING DRIVE SIGNAL LEVEL UPDATING AND RELATED METHODS
0003] A particularly advantageous approach to fingerprint sensing is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,963,679 to Setlak and assigned to the assignee of the present invention. The fingerprint sensor is an integrated circuit sensor that drives the user's finger with an electric field signal and senses the electric field with an array of electric field sensing pixels on the integrated circuit substrate. Such sensors are used to control access for many different types of electronic devices such as computers, cell phones, personal digital assistants (PDA's), and the like. In particular, fingerprint sensors are used because they may have a small footprint, are relatively easy for a user to use and they provide reasonable authentication capabilities.
 In some recent applications, the sensor may desirably capture images of fingerprint patterns from fingers that are farther away from the sensor array than is typical with today's technologies. Unfortunately, as the finger gets farther away from the sensor array (for example when a relatively thick dielectric lies between the sensor array and the finger), the spatial field strength variations that represent the fingerprint pattern become weaker. One way to compensate for this loss of spatial pattern strength is to increase the voltage of the signals that generate the field between the finger and the sensor array, also known as the drive signal. The fingerprint spatial pattern strength increases proportionately.
 However, the detected signals generated from the sensor array and based upon placement of the user's finger adjacent the sensor array are relatively small compared to the drive signal. Thus, these relatively small detected signals may be increasingly difficult to process along with the relatively high drive signal, limiting measurement resolution of the detected signals, for example. Amplifier and processing stages that read and process the detected signals may add additional noise. Another source of noise may be fixed pattern noise from the sensor array, which also may make it increasingly difficult to measure the detected signals.
First claim of published application:
A finger biometric sensor comprising: an array of finger biometric sensing pixels; and processing circuitry coupled to the array of finger biometric sensing pixels and capable of acquiring initial data from the array of finger biometric sensing pixels based upon an initial drive signal level and with a finger positioned adjacent the array of finger biometric sensing pixels, determining an updated drive signal level based upon the initial data, and acquiring finger biometric data from the array of finger biometric sensing pixels based upon the updated drive signal level and with the finger positioned adjacent the array of finger biometric sensing pixels.