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Apple Awards Finisar $390 Million from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund

The award is projected to create 500 high–skill jobs at Finisar's Sherman, Tex., facility

SHERMAN, Tex.–Apple announced in December that Finisar, a manufacturer of optical communications components, will receive $390 million as part of Apple's commitment to support innovation and job creation by American manufacturers. Finisar is the second U.S. manufacturer to receive an award from Apple's $1 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund. Last May, Apple announced that it had awarded Corning Incorporated $200 million to support its R&D, capital equipment needs, and state–of–the–art glass processing.

In a press release, Apple said that the award will enable Finisar to exponentially increase its R&D spending and high–volume production of vertical–cavity surface–emitting lasers (VCSELs), which power some of Apple's most popular new features, including Face ID®, AnimojiTM and Portrait mode selfies made possible with the iPhone® X TrueDepthTM camera, and the proximity–sensing capabilities of AirPods®.

According to Apple, VCSEL technology is a better performing, more compact and cost–efficient solution than traditional edge–emitting lasers for many emerging applications. Apple has rapidly adopted depth–sensing technology in recent years, leading to the development and production of what it calls "the most advanced VCSELs used in the history of consumer electronics."

As a result of Apple's commitment, Finisar will transform a long–shuttered, 700,000–square–foot manufacturing plant in Sherman, Texas, into the high–tech VCSEL capital of the United States. Apple's award is projected to create more than 500 high–skill jobs for engineers, technicians, and maintenance teams at the Sherman facility. Hiring, capital equipment planning, and infrastructure upgrades are currently under way at the Sherman facility, which is expected to begin shipping in the second half of 2018.

Apple said that 100 percent of the VCSELs that it buys from Finisar ( will be made in Texas. 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 United States.

"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," said Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer, 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."

Apple has committed to investing at least $1 billion with U.S.–based companies as part of the fund, which is designed to foster innovative production and high–skill jobs that will help lay the foundation for a new era of technology–driven manufacturing in the United States. The company said that it supports 2 million jobs across all 50 states of the U.S., including 450,000 jobs attributable to Apple's spending and investment with U.S.–based suppliers. Apple also said that last year alone, it spent more than $50 billion with more than 9,000 domestic suppliers and manufacturers.

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