On Wednesday Apple officially confirmed that it is investing $ 390 million in Finisar Corp, a supplier of vertical emitting lasers (VCSELs) used in the Anniversary iPhone X TrueDepth camera.
This investment is expected to go towards the construction of a chip manufacturing plant in Texas. It will be sponsored by the Advanced Manufacturing Fund, which Apple founded earlier this year to spur innovation and create new jobs in the United States.
VCSEL lasers are one of the most sophisticated technologies we have ever created. We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Finisar over the next several years to improve the VCSEL and its applicability. Technology cannot work well without the people behind it, and Finisar is a company with a long history that puts its people first and supports the society in which it exists. We are proud that our participation will help transform the other American community into a manufacturing hub.
According to the announcement Apple, the investment will help Finisar significantly increase its research, development and production costs for the VCSEL. It is to this laser that we owe a number of key features iPhone X like Face ID, Animoji, and portrait mode in selfies. It also provides the proximity sensor in AirPods.
Finisar CEO also expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership with Apple. He believes that VCSEL has great potential, which will be properly developed.
Note that a number of reports related to production issues iPhone X mentioned a shortage of VCSEL sensor supplies for TrueDepth. This is probably one of the reasons for the investment Apple: lasers need not only to be improved, but also to be produced in sufficient quantities.
According to some analyst reports, in 2018 Apple will introduce iPad, which will inherit a number of features from iPhone X. In particular, it was about the TrueDepth camera. This model is likely to join the Pro lineup and lose the Home button.
This is the second time that Apple has raised funds from the Advanced Manufacturing Fund. In May, the company announced a $ 200 million investment in Corning, a manufacturer of protective glass used in iPhone and other devices Apple.