Just over a year ago, component manufacturer Finisar was awarded $390 million from Apple’s Advanced Manufacturing Fund. To expand production of a critical part of the TrueDepth camera system, introduced with iPhone X, Finisar turned an unoccupied building in Sherman, Texas into a bustling operation full of people who will supply that future business.
In 2018, the company has revealed that it spent $60bn with 9,000 American component suppliers and companies, an increase of more than 10% percent from 2017, supporting more than 450,000 jobs.
The Texan plant will produce vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers — or VCSELs — for Apple, powering breakthrough features of the latest iPhones and iPads, including Face ID and Animoji. VCSEL wafers are nearly as thin as a human hair and contain hundreds of layers measuring only a few atoms in thickness. They require a highly advanced and precise manufacturing operation, as well as skilled technicians with specialised training.
Since 2011, the total number of jobs created and supported by Apple in the United States has more than tripled — from almost 600,000 to two million across all 50 states.