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Overview of Fingerprint Solution

NEC has dedicated over three decades in developing the most efficient and accurate fingerprint identification technology. And today, NEC is the world’s leading supplier of fingerprint biometrics for both law enforcement and identity management applications.

NEC fingerprint identification technology is empowered by a unique matching algorithm (i.e., the minutiae and relation method) that uses ridge counts and the relationship between minutiae. This enables us to provide the lowest false accept and false reject rates (FAR and FRR) - with the fastest 1:n database searches for identification.

In addition, Positive Identification (PID) adds another innovative and competitive edge to our fingerprint identification technology. Emerging from NEC’s proven AFIS technology, PID provides the most advanced pattern identification and fingerprint matching available today.


NEC's AFIS delivers high-level benefits and offers a variety of advanced features to meet law enforcement identification demands.

  • Fingerprint and palmprint identification
  • Positive Identification (PID)
  • Advanced processing for finger, latent, palm and slap matching
  • Enhanced Search Sending to Other AFIS
  • Seamless interface to live scan units, mugshot systems, criminal history systems, etc.

The NEC Difference

The superiority of NEC matching cannot be overstated. NEC’s AFIS does not just match fingerprints to solve crimes. Unlike our competitor’s systems, the NEC AFIS is not only a tenprint registration system but also a fingerprint repository for the identification of dangerous criminals. Furthermore, the capability that distinguishes NEC’s AFIS technology from that of our competitors is its unsurpassed latent identification accuracy and speed - solving crimes is the number one AFIS priority.

NEC AFIS is the first AFIS that uses ridge counts and relationships between minutiae in its matching algorithm. This algorithm allows AFIS to match distorted prints while maintaining matching selectivity. In addition, NEC’s use of “zone” data reduces the number of false minutiae by ensuring that only minutiae in “clear zone” are used in matching. These features allow NEC AFIS customers to achieve high hit rates while reducing the number of candidates to be compared with.

Technical Highlights

Minutiae and Related Method

The Minutiae and Related Method is a matching algorithm designed by NEC, which uses ridges and minutiae inside a clear zone of fingerprints to achieve accurate fingerprint identification.

A finger minutia is a fingerprint ridge ending, or a ridge bifurcation where the ridge separates into two ridges - the characteristics that make each fingerprint unique. Because the skin at the ends of fingers, where fingerprint patterns are located is soft, the positions and directions of minutiae are subject to great deal of distortion, depending on how the finger is pressed against the surface receiving the print. The number of ridges between minutiae however, never changes. By encoding these ridge-counts together with the minutiae, that is the relation between minutiae, NEC AFIS provides the most positive matching for all types of fingerprints.

For palmprint identification, the same matching algorithm is also applied.

Fingerprint Matching Processor (FMP)

NEC FMP is designed to conduct high-speed fingerprint matching by a massive parallel processor architecture based on the world's cutting edge super computer technology. The FMP provides the highest accuracy available in the industry. Historically, NEC's FMPs, from the initial FMP to the newest FMP, have been the only matchers truly designed and manufactured by a single vendor with significant fault-tolerant design experience.

The FMP has also incorporated new generation RISC technology, allowing each matching processor to achieve a much higher matching speed than ever before. The lower power consumption of each chip also allows more processors to be packaged in smaller spaces, and this high processor density enables the FMP to achieve increased throughput while maintaining the highest degree of accuracy and economy. The FMP uses an industry standard Fiber Channel (FC) interface for communication with the matching controller. These design improvements ensure that the FMP fully supports any customer's fingerprint system requirements well into the 21st century.

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