Apple invests $390 million in VCSEL maker Finisar

Apple invests $390 million in VCSEL maker Finisar

Finisar produces "vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers" (VCSELs), which power some Apple's newest features, including Face ID, Animoji, Portrait mode selfies and AirPods.

The investment towards Finisar is part of Apple's $1 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund, which supports "innovation and job creation by American manufacturers", the company said in its announcement. Corning Inc, the maker of glass for iPhone and iPad screens, earlier received US$200 million for glass processing. It will also lead to more VCSELs for Apple in the latter half of 2018, helping to protect Apple against potential shortages from its leading VCSEL supplier, Lumentum. It's rumored that some of next years iPhone's will have Face ID included.

The design process at Apple balances creating ground-breaking technology against the manufacturing challenge of finding suppliers who can provide the number of components needed to put new features inside hundreds of millions of handsets. Apple will be opening an American headquarter for the futuristic company to create the material that Apple needs for its products. Apple says 100 percent of the VCSELs that the company purchases from Finisar will be made in Texas.

Finisar CEO Jerry S. Rawls said the company was "excited" to continue working with Apple. Apple said that in the current calendar quarter ending December 31, it has bought more than 10 times as numerous lasers as had ever been manufactured over a similar time frame.

A Finisar technician examines a wafer during production. "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", the exec said. The iPhone X is now the only Apple product with a facial recognition sensor.




A Dot Projector projects more than 30,000 invisible dots onto your face to map its structure.

Apple released tools for app makers to start creating AR apps over the summer and enabled it on all iPhones back to the iPhone 6s.

The A11 chip then compares your facial structure to the facial scan stored in the iPhone X during the setup process.

It will only unlock your device when you look in the direction of the iPhone X with your eyes open.

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