Apple to invest $390 million in Finisar to ramp up chip production


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(Reuters) - Apple Inc will give Finisar Corp $390 million to increase production of chips that power high-profile iPhone X features including Face ID, Animojis and portrait-mode photos.

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Shares of Finisar, a Sunnyvale, California-based optical components maker, rose 14 percent to $22 in premarket trade on Wednesday.

The investment is Apple's second from its $1 billion advanced manufacturing fund that seeks to foster innovation and create jobs, Apple said. The first investment was a $200 million infusion into Gorilla Glass maker Corning Inc in May.

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Finisar will use the money to transform a previously closed 700,000-square-foot plant in Sherman, Texas to make high volumes of laser diodes called vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers, or VCSELs.

In the fourth quarter of 2017, Apple said it would buy 10 times more VCSELs than were previously made worldwide over a similar time period.

The Sherman facility is expected to ship products starting in the second half of 2018.

(Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza and Sai Sachin Ravikumar)

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