Apple Dips into Advanced Manufacturing Fund with an Investment in Finisar

Posted by at 5:59 pm on December 13, 2017

Apple today announced a $390 million investment in Sunnyvale, Calif.-based optical communications components manufacturer Finisar.

The money will come out of Apple’s $1 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund earmarked for American companies. This is Apple’s second investment from the fund after giving Corning $200 million in May for a Kentucky glass-processing plant.

“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,” Apple’s Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams said in a statement. “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 investment will allow Finisar to “exponentially increase” its research and development and production of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers, or VCSELs, Apple wrote in a news release.

The $390 million will allow Finisar to increase the production of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), which power some of Apple’s most popular new features. Face ID, Portrait mode selfies and Animoji all use VCSEL technology.

Finisar plans to use the money to transform a “long-shuttered” 700,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Sherman, Texas into what Apple is now calling the future “VCSEL capital of the US.” The company plans to create more than 500 “high-skill jobs” at this facility, Apple said, including engineers, technicians, and maintenance teams. Finisar expects to begin shipping components from that facility in the second half of 2018.

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