Based in Sunnyvale, California, Finisar is a leading manufacturer of optical communications equipment. Among other things, it produces optical transceivers, engines, cables, instruments, wavelength management devices, optical amplifiers and more. Finisar was founded in 1988. In 2008, it merged with Optium Corporation. Finisar now employs an estimated 14,000 workers — a number that will likely grow even bigger thanks to the investment by Apple.
As explained by Reuters, Apple has created a $1 billion fund to help bolster the U.S. manufacturing industry. Known as the Advanced Manufacturing Fund (AMF), it’s part of Apple’s long-term goal to shift its overseas spending back to the United States. When Apple CEO Tim Cook met with U.S. lawmakers earlier this year, he explained that Apple had already created 2 million jobs in the United States. And of those 2 million jobs, roughly 80,000 are at Apple, whereas the remaining 1.12 million involve suppliers and developers.
On December 13, 2017, Apple officially announced plans to award Finisar Corporation with $390 million from its $1 billion AMF. The funds, according to Apple, show the company’s support to creating jobs and strengthening the U.S. manufacturing industry. So, what does Finisar intend to do with the new funds?
On its website, Apple says the $380 million will help Finisar increase its spending in research and development, as well as its production of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs). This, of course, is a huge benefit for Apple considering that it uses VCSEL in many of its products. Apple’s Face ID, portrait mode and Animojis, for instance, all use VCSEL technology. Apple says that all the VSCELs it buys from Finisar will be manufactured here in the United States at the company’s manufacturing facility in Texas.
“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.
Finisar isn’t the only manufacturing company to receive an investment as part of Apple’s AMF. On May 12, 2017, Apple announced plans to award Corning Incorporated with $200 million from its $1 billion AMF. Like the deal with Finisar, this money is also expected to be used for research and development purposes. Of course, Corning Incorporated is the company behind Gorilla Glass, a type of shatter-resistant glass used to make iPhones and other smartphones.