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© Apple Components | December 14, 2017

Apple grants Finisar $390 million to boost production

The Cupertino company has awarded optical communications component manufacturer, Finisar, USD 390 million to boost production of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers.
Apple has earmarked at least USD 1 billion via its Advanced Manufacturing Fund to support US manufacturing and job creation. The award will enable Finisar to exponentially increase its R&D spending and high-volume production of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs).

VCSELs power some of Apple’s new features, including Face ID, Animoji and Portrait mode selfies made with the iPhone X TrueDepth camera, as well as the proximity-sensing capabilities of AirPods.

VCSEL technology is a better performing, more compact and cost-efficient solution compared to traditional edge-emitting lasers for many emerging applications. Apple has rapidly adopted depth-sensing technology in recent years, leading to the development and production of the most advanced VCSELs used in the history of consumer electronics. In the fourth quarter of 2017, Apple will purchase 10 times more VCSEL wafers than were previously manufactured worldwide over a similar time period, Apple states in a press release.

With the additional funds from Apple, Finisar will Finisar will reopen a long-shuttered, 700,000-sqare-foot manufacturing plant in Sherman, Texas, to ramp up production of VCSELs. With the reopening more than 500 new jobs at the Sherman facility, including engineers, technicians and maintenance teams.

One hundred percent of the VCSELs Apple buys from Finisar will be made in Texas.

“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.

“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.”

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January 20 2018 1:29 pm V9.1.4-2