Veridicom Inc, the new independent business formed by Lucent Technologies (CI No 3,166) to develop and market advanced hardware and software components using Bell Labs silicon chip fingerprint authentication technology, isn’t the only player in the arena. SGS Thomson Microelectronics SA is also going to market a chip for makers of network security systems. The French company has been showing a prototype version of the part it announced to the world last year, but at the moment the part has no name and there are no customers for it. Veridicom said Thursday that it had already signed up two customers for its chip, as imaging specialists The National Registry Inc and keyboard manufacturer Key Tronic Corporation will incorporate Veridicom’s technology into their positive identification software and hardware products. SGS says the key feature of these devices is that they will be much cheaper than conventional fingerprint recognition systems which require moving or optical parts. Eliminating the need for circuits and motors means the systems will cost less to build. SGS’ chip works like one of those pin cushions that can record an impression of a face or hand. The user puts a fingertip on the chip, which electrically builds a contour map of the ridges and valleys of the finger. The information can be sent to a computer running software that analyses it and verifies the user’s identity. It can also be recorded on a smart SGS says it is developing new technology for systems that will converge services currently only offered by multiple devices such as global positioning and vehicle location systems.