Apple Confirms Face ID Is The Future

Angelica Greene
December 15, 2017

In the fourth quarter of 2017, Apple will purchase 10 times more VCSEL wafers than were previously manufactured worldwide over a similar time period. So it makes sense that Apple would need to increase production of the chips and components that power it.

Apple has announced an investment worth $390 million in Finisar, the US-based tech firm that produces the vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers or VCSEL that powers the Face ID feature of iPhone X. The amount would be spent in furthering R&D effort on this front while also setting up a new plant in Sherman, Texas that would be producing the VCSELs.

Apple said one hundred percent of the VCELs it buys from Finisar will be made in Texas.

Apple didn't reveal how its large investment will benefit future iPhones, AirPods or any other devices on the horizon, but it did tease new laser possibilities. Apple's move is also about investing in American businesses. It has announced a USA $390 million investment in Finisar, a facial recognition technology company.

The lasers go into sensors that enable 3-D mapping, which in turn is a critical part of augmented reality, in which digital objects are overlaid on the real world.

While Apple nearly never talks about forthcoming products, Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has been uncharacteristically vocal about Apple's future focus on AR, calling it a "big and profound" technology shift. Apple Inc is spending US$390 million (RM1.6 billion) to boost production from a maker of laser technology that's critical for new iPhone X features such as facial recognition.

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With much of the manufacturing and assembly for its products done in China, Apple has faced criticism from US President Donald Trump and others for not creating more jobs in the US Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook announced the manufacturing fund in May.

The Advanced Manufacturing Fund is meant to benefit USA -based companies, and could be seen as a response to criticisms of Apple using overseas companies such as Foxconn Technology Group for iPhone production.

"If you're Samsung today, you're thinking, who can do these types of VSCEL arrays?"

"While this investment will likely come across as bad for Lumentum, we do not believe Lumentum's relationship with the company has necessarily been affected", Munster said. "It's a little bit of a tough spot for them".

Lumentum is the top supplier of VCSELs and represents a "single source risk" for Apple, he added.

Other reports by GizPress

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