Apple on Wednesday announced a $390 million investment in Sunnyvale, Calif.-based optical communications components manufacturer Finisar.
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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.
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. VCSELs enable iPhone features like Face ID, animoji, and portrait mode selfies as well as the "proximity-sensing capabilities" of AirPods .
"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."
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.
"One hundred percent of the VCSELs Apple buys from Finisar will be made in Texas," the Cupertino tech giant wrote. "Consistent with Apple's commitment to the environment, the company intends to procure enough renewable energy to cover all of its Apple manufacturing in the US."