COGENT, INC.

COGENT, INC.

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Company Overview
Cogent, Inc. (Cogent Systems) is a leading provider of Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems (AFIS) and biometric access control solutions to governments, law enforcement agencies and commercial customers worldwide. Cogent has established a reputation for successful deployment of identification system solutions that allow for real time identification of individuals in a wide variety of application, including: immigration, voting, asylum, citizen benefits/rights, citizen identification, driver’s licenses and criminal investigations.
The company’s AFIS solutions enable customers to capture fingerprint images electronically, encode fingerprints into searchable files and accurately compare a set of fingerprints to a database containing potentially millions of fingerprints in seconds. Cogent Systems has conducted research, designed, developed and marketed fingerprint biometrics technologies that incorporate advanced concepts in fluid dynamics, neural networks, image enhancement, data mining and massively parallel processing. The company’s products range from national distributed network AFIS systems to standalone desktop systems to complete systems on a single ASIC chip. Cogent positive identification products for the commercial sector range from e-commerce, smart cards, ATM’s, physical access control to wireless and PDAs (personal digital assistant).
Cogent was awarded a contract as the prime contractor for a new integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). The AFIS will be used by the RCMP as part of its Real Time Identification (RTID) initiative which will meet the growing demands for post 9/11 identification services for criminal, civil, immigration, and international needs. Cogent’s technology was selected to support one of the United States Department of Homeland Security’s top priority programs, US-VISIT (United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology). Using biometric technology as the key identifier, this automated system expedites the entry/exit process for those legitimate travelers to the US.
Cogent has also provided the core matching platform for EURODAC. EURODAC is a multinational system in the European Union used by 26 nations to verify political asylum applications. As a team member to Pacific Century Cyber Works (PCCW), Cogent technology is embedded in the largest biometric and smartcard program, Hong Kong’s National Smart Identity Card System (SMARTICS). Using Cogent’s patented image reconstruction and highly accurate fingerprint matching algorithm, Cogent’s BioSwipe API is applicable for small processor PDAs and PC-based applications requiring fingerprint identification using a swipe sensor. BioSwipe has been used in four of HP’s iPAQ products and the Lexar TouchGuard product, which won Time Magazine’s 2004 Gadget of the Year award.
Cogent Systems’ corporate vision is to provide the highest quality biometric identification systems, products, and services with unparalleled innovation, accuracy, and speed. With headquarters in South Pasadena, California, Cogent Systems is also located in Dublin, Ohio and Reston, Virginia. The company has satellite offices in Vienna, Austria; Shenzhen, China; and London, UK.
Business Summary
Cogent, Inc. is a provider of automated fingerprint identification systems (AFIS) and other fingerprint biometrics solutions to governments, law enforcement agencies and other organizations worldwide. Cogent, Inc. has designed and developed an integrated AFIS solution consisting of its fingerprint biometric software, together with optimized hardware and professional services. The Company’s AFIS solutions enable customers to capture fingerprint images electronically, encode fingerprints into searchable files and compare a set of fingerprints to a database of millions of fingerprints. The Company has researched, designed and developed fingerprint biometric technologies that incorporate advanced concepts in fluid dynamics, neural networks, image enhancement, data mining and massively parallel processing. The Company principally offers biometrics solutions to the government sector, which consists of federal, state, local and foreign governments and agencies.
Description and history
Cogent, Inc., incorporated in April 1990, is a provider of automated fingerprint identification systems (AFIS) and other fingerprint biometrics solutions to governments, law enforcement agencies and other organizations worldwide. The Company’s AFIS solutions enable customers to capture fingerprint images electronically, encode fingerprints into searchable files and compare a set of fingerprints to a database of millions of fingerprints. The Company has researched, designed and developed fingerprint biometric technologies that incorporate advanced concepts in fluid dynamics, neural networks, image enhancement, data mining and massively parallel processing. Cogent, Inc. has designed and developed an integrated AFIS solution consisting of its fingerprint biometric software, together with optimized hardware and professional services. The Company principally offers biometrics solutions to the government sector, which consists of federal, state, local and foreign governments and agencies, including immigration/border control agencies, electoral commissions and law enforcement agencies. At the core of each of its products is its Image Flow Processing, Data Flow Computing and Information Fusion software. In December 2010, 3M Company acquired the Company.

AFIS Solutions

The Company offers a variety of products and services designed to enable customers to deploy AFIS solutions. The Company offers its programmable matching accelerator (PMA) servers bundled with its software to perform the searching and matching functions that are central to an AFIS, as well as live-scan fingerprint capture devices. It also delivers design and integration services and necessary computing and equipment infrastructure to enable deployment into diverse and heterogeneous environments. Cogent, Inc.’s customers typically deploy its AFIS solutions in either traditional AFIS environments, such as law enforcement, where it markets its solution as Cogent Automated Fingerprint Identification System (CAFIS), or in live production environments, such as border crossings, where it markets its solution as Cogent Live-ID.

CAFIS is the Company’s full-function, networked AFIS solution for local, regional and national systems. While each CAFIS deployment is specific to the customer due to its specific design and integration requirements, all such deployments employ the Company’s software, and the larger deployments rely significantly on its PMA servers. CAFIS can be integrated with external AFIS, live-scan systems, hand-held wireless devices, secure Web-based Internet solutions and other information systems. CAFIS features a modular and expandable architecture that can be used to meet any agency’s database size, throughput and integration requirements. CAFIS can search databases of enrolled subjects, with multiple records per subject in image resolutions of both 500 pixels per inch (ppi) and 1,000 ppi. Any number of modular elements can be incorporated into CAFIS, including PMA servers, workstations, live-scans and wireless handheld computers. For agencies with modest throughput requirements, systems can be configured using a network technology (NT) or UNIX-based transaction server hosting the Company’s Image Flow, Data Flow and Information Fusion software. For local agencies, the Company provides an AFIS solution on a standalone workstation that incorporates much of the tenprint and latent functionality and all the accuracy of large-scale AFIS systems. This workstation can scale to support larger-scale systems as agency needs change. CAFIS is also capable of integrating other authentication and identification solutions, such as facial recognition and smart cards.

The Company’s Live-ID AFIS solution enables its customers to identify individuals who submit their fingerprints for border crossings, background checks, fraud prevention, criminal investigation, document identification, voting stations and other activities where security is a concern. Live-ID has been deployed in many environments, including the United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT) program. Its Live-ID system can be configured to run on hand-held devices, notebook computers, standalone workstations and enterprise systems serving users in a vast network of sites. Live-ID can be implemented on platforms operating under UNIX, Windows and Linux, enabling users to submit search transactions and receive results with a standard Web browser. Live-ID can also be used in non-governmental environments to provide authentication of an individual’s identity for a variety of transactions, including e-commerce applications. Live-ID implements the Company’s Data Flow matching technology to search entire databases containing up to millions of records. Its Information Fusion technology makes it possible to combine identification systems so that Live-ID can search databases of digital photographs, signatures and demographic data simultaneously.

AFIS Products

The Company offers two key products in its AFIS solutions deployments: PMA serves and live-scan systems. The Company’s PMA server is a high-speed image matching server at the core of a customer’s AFIS or Live-ID system that can support search speeds of up to 10 million print comparisons per second per server. Its PMAs are modular units that enable customers to linearly increase matching throughput to support system and database growth by rack-mounting multiple PMA servers. PMA servers consist of up to 18 of the Company’s PMA boards integrated with a server that has a high-speed input/output processor board and multiple random access memory drives. Its PMA boards use field programmable gate array integrated circuits optimized to run its software. Its PMA boards house mirrored databases in on-board random access memory that contain files used by the system to generate fingerprint matches. The mirrored configuration and speed of the random access memory allow the system to perform simultaneous search transactions at very high speeds.

Cogent, Inc. offers a suite of live-scan systems running its software that improve minutiae feature extraction during the capture and encoding of fingerprint and palm print data. These systems can capture rolled or flat fingerprints and palm prints of a subject. Using the Company’s software, these products enable real-time previewing, which helps the operator to place, guide and align the fingers and palms correctly, and provide immediate feedback, including error messages, if prints are not captured at an acceptable quality. Textual and graphic information is displayed in a single monitor, with a graphic user interface and on-screen buttons and zoom features. Its live-scan product suite is designed to enable integration within larger AFIS and booking management systems, including CAFIS, Live-ID and legacy AFIS solutions. The Company’s live-scan booking station is an advanced live-scan system designed to withstand extreme working conditions, such as those present in jails and prisons. The system features a high-security glass front and a ruggedized cabinet. The Company also offers a desktop live-scan system and a portable live-scan system.

AFIS Services

The Company offers design and integration services and training that complement its AFIS product solutions. At the commencement of a large CAFIS or Live-ID deployment, the Company establishes project management teams that utilize a formal project management development process to meet the customer’s performance objectives. It develops and delivers customized solutions to governments, law enforcement agencies and other organizations that require integration with existing information systems that interface with external AFIS systems. The Company also works with systems integrators in providing tailored solutions. After installation, it conducts performance tests to validate performance objectives. The Company also offers tailored training plans that include classes, on-the-job training and in-house seminars. As part of its training services, Cogent, Inc. provides customized user guides along with manuals.

The Company provides a fully outsourced Live-ID service on a Web-based hosted application service business model. Systems are housed and maintained in a secure data center at its headquarters. The data center is equipped with high-speed, fault-tolerant Cogent PMA matchers and enterprise servers. Customers using this service can offer fingerprint matching services for applications, such as background checks without investing in an entire AFIS infrastructure and pay on a transaction basis.

ASIC Applications

Cogent, Inc. application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) is designed to perform biometric image processing and matching for both fingerprints and facial images. Based on a microprocessor core, its ASIC incorporates a two-dimensional digital signal processing engine and supports memory bus interfaces with synchronous dynamic random access memory, read-only memory, flash memory and static random access memory devices. Its ASIC is typically delivered as part of the Company’s Identification Module, which is a standalone image processing and biometric matching unit designed for applications requiring biometric identification and authentication. The Identification Module supports both one-to-one authentication and one-to-many identification applications. Host application systems can manage the Identification Module through communication protocols, such as Ethernet. The Company also offers an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) development kit for application development and integration. This kit comes with a variety of tools and options to provide flexibility and customization for a range of applications.

BlueCheck is a Bluetooth-enabled mobile fingerprint scanner for law enforcement applications. Used with the Company’s Live-ID and MobileIDENT software, BlueCheck allows users to perform in-the-field fingerprint capture and identifications. The Fusion is a handheld device for military and law enforcement personnel operating in a variety of environments around the globe. The device captures and stores 10,000 plus (scalable) records, including forensic-quality fingerprints, latent fingerprints, iris images, photos and textual data. BioGate is a physical access control system that provides a customizable biometrics solution to support a variety of access control environments. The Company’s ASIC is used in the Hong Kong Smart Identity Card Program. MobileIDENT integrates the Company’s ASIC with a forensic-quality fingerprint sensor (500 ppi resolution), a digital camera, a smart card reader and a Windows mobile-based pocket personal computer (PC) to create a handheld AFIS that can locally store and search fingerprints on its ASIC chip. MobileIDENT can also communicate with a central AFIS search engine with results returned to the MobileIDENT. In addition, MobileIDENT supports match-on-card authentication whereby a captured fingerprint is compared to fingerprint minutiae stored on a smart card.

The Company competes with NEC, Safran Group, Cross Match Technologies, L-1 Identity Solutions, AuthenTec, Dermalog and UPEK.

Business Line
Provider of Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems (AFIS) and biometric access control solutions to governments, law enforcement agencies and commercial customers
Subsidiary
COGENT SYSTEMS GMBH
Advisor
DELOITTE & TOUCHE LLP
IPO date
9/24/2004
US SIC Code
7373
Company Address
209, Fair Oaks Avenue

City province or state postal code
91030, SOUTH PASADENA, CA
Phone: +1 626 799 8090
Fax: +1 626 799 8996
Country address: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Website url: www.cogentsystems.com