- Apple announced plans to “award” $US390 million into Finisar, a company that builds special chips for some of its products.
- Finisar is reopening a facility in Texas that Apple says will help create 500 new jobs.
Apple has announced plans to give $US390 million, or £292 million, to Finisar, a company that helps build chips that enable proximity and depth sensing on products such as the iPhone X and AirPods.
With Apple’s money, Finisar plans to reopen a 700,000-square-foot (65,000 square meters) manufacturing facility in Sherman, Texas, where Apple says some 500 jobs will be created including engineers, technicians, and a maintenance team.
The plant will be transformed and refurbished with new machines capable of producing vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser, or VCSEL, chips.
This special kind of component features in numerous Apple’s products and enables features such as Face ID, ARKit, and even Animoji but also proximity sensing that, for instance, allows AirPods to stop playing audio when one of the two buds is removed from the user’s ear.
“VCSELs power some of the most sophisticated technology we’ve ever developed,” Apple’s chief operating officer, Jeff Williams, said in a statement.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Finisar over the next several years to push the boundaries of VCSEL technology and the applications they enable.”
Finisar’s CEO chimed in as well. He said: “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 incredibility exciting features.”