Apple invests $390M in iPhone laser chip maker

Apple invests $390M in iPhone laser chip maker

Apple is investing $390 million in Finisar, which builds the components found in the TrueDepth camera on the iPhone X, the Cupertino company announced on Wednesday. VCSELs power some of Apple's most popular new features, including Face ID, Animoji and Portrait mode selfies made possible with the iPhone X TrueDepth camera, as well as the proximity-sensing capabilities of AirPods.

That's a move straight out of Tim Cook's playbook - see prior examples like cornering the market for flash memory, which helped the iPod and iPhone dominate over the past 15 years, and also helped Apple hit its insane profit margins.

"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, in a press release.

Shares of Finisar, a Sunnyvale, California-based optical components maker, rose more than 30 percent to $25.41 on Wednesday morning.

The investment is being sourced from the $1 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund that Apple created to support the manufacturing industry in the U.S., thereby creating more jobs for United States nationals. Finisar, a company that manufactures vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), is receiving $390 million as part of Apple's new program to fuel job creation among American manufacturers. The deal also suggests Apple will include these sensors in additional products.

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President Trump has been pushing Apple to move its manufacturing efforts from China to the U.S. On the campaign trial, Trump said: "We're going to get Apple to build their damn computers and things in this country instead of in other countries".

It's not unusual for Apple to finance its suppliers. All of the VCSELs that Apple will purchase from Finisar will be made in the Texas plant. The company runs a plant in Allen, just outside of Dallas. The new 700,000-square-foot facility is set to start shipping in the second half of 2018, Apple said.

Sherman mayor David Plyler said: "Sherman is the flawless place for Finisar's significant investment in their operations and facilities and we couldn't be more grateful for their confidence".

'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.

The dot map is then read by an infrared camera and the structure of your face is relayed to the A11 Bionic chip in the iPhone X, where it is turned into a mathematical model. Finisar is only the second firm to see a grant from the fund, after Corning received $200 million in May of this year. Should you upgrade your iPhone to iOS 11.1?

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