Apple's latest splurge proves the future of the iPhone is freakin' lasers

Posted December 15, 2017

Apple said today that it would give $390 million to Finisar, one of its suppliers, to build a plant in Texas for a part called "vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers", or VCSELs.

The investment is Apple's second from its $1 billion advanced manufacturing fund that seeks to foster innovation and create jobs.

Apple is making a substantial $390 million United States dollars investment into component maker Finisar.

Finisar said they are looking to transform a 700,000 sq. ft. abandoned plant in Sherman into a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility producing some of the most advanced VCSEL ever to go into the making of a consumer electronics product.

Also, with Apple harboring lofty dreams with its Face ID tech, with plans to incorporate the same on a forthcoming version of iPad Pro, demand for VCSEL is only expected to increase exponentially in the coming years.

More news: Tiger Zinda Hai fails to get clearance from CBFC

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 has not said what company supplied the first round of lasers, but Lumentum Holdings Inc has seen a surge of business attributed to a single customer that analysts believe is Apple.

Finisar CEO Jerry S. Rawls said the company was "excited" to continue working with Apple.

Sherman mayor David Plyler said: "Sherman is the ideal place for Finisar's significant investment in their operations and facilities and we couldn't be more grateful for their confidence".

Foxconn's announcement in July that it would open a plant in the United States was met with mixed responses in the ongoing conversation about American job creation.

A Finisar technician examines a wafer during production. The latest investment in Finisar will enable the company to boost production, as well as research and development, to create more optical communications parts.

More news: You're Fired! Omarosa Leaves White House Role

500 people will be hired to help build the TrueDepth cameras for the current iPhone X model.

Face ID uses infrared to scan your face, so it works in low lighting conditions and in the dark.

How do you rate laser-based features like Face ID and Animoji?

That requires you to come up with a secure string of digits - or, for extra security, a string of letters and numbers - to protect your privacy.

More news: United Kingdom retail sales win Black Friday boost