Apple is making a substantial $390 million USD investment into component maker Finisar. Finisar manufactures some of the parts used to make the iPhone X True Depth camera. The money will be used to build a plant in Texas which will make more chips. The Texas plant build also falls in line with Apple’s Advanced Manufacturing Fund which is meant to encourage job creation in the U.S.
“VCSELs power some of the most sophisticated technology we’ve ever developed and we’re thrilled to partner with Finisar over the next several years to push the boundaries of VCSEL technology and the applications they enable,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “Technology is only as good as the people behind it, and Finisar is a company with a long history of putting its employees first and supporting the community it’s a part of. We’re extremely proud that our involvement will help transform another American community into a manufacturing powerhouse.”
VCSELs are part of what makes Face ID work as well as Animoji, and Portrait mode in the camera. It’s rumored that some of next years iPhone’s will have Face ID included. So it makes sense that Apple would need to increase production of the chips and components that power it.
“We’re excited to continue our innovation with Apple of a technology that has tremendous potential,” said Jerry S. Rawls, CEO of Finisar. “When you combine our proven ability to consistently manufacture exceptional products with our new state-of-the-art Sherman facility, we’re confident we can achieve our shared goal of providing consumers with incredibly exciting features. Finisar has always been keenly aware it takes great people to power our work and that’s why we’re thrilled to be adding Sherman to our family.”
This purchase also shows how serious Apple is about Face ID and AR technology. While other manufacturers are still working on fingerprint scanners under glass, Apple has moved on and is placing its bet on Face ID. It should be interesting to see how this all shakes out.
Last Updated on December 13, 2017.