Apple is investing 338 million euros in the American company II-VI from the Advanced Manufacturing Fund. The company develops vcsel’s for FaceID, Memoji and Portrait Mode. It also supplies lasers for the lidar scanners in the iPhone 12 Pro and iPad Pro.
In 2017, the company Finisar, which was later bought by II-VI, also received $ 332 million from Apple for the development of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers used in Face ID. With the money, it was able to open a factory in Texas to increase production of vcsel’s and invest more in research and development.
Now the company will again receive a hefty investment of 410 million dollars, converted 338 million euros. Apple is collaborating with II-VI, pronounced two-six, to produce lasers used in Apple’s lidar scanner, which it uses for things like augmented reality and autofocus for photos taken in the dark. With the money, the company will increase production at the plant in Texas.
According to The Verge, this investment is a clear signal that Apple sees a future in augmented and virtual reality. Apple CEO Tim Cook has previously said AR is a spearhead for Apple’s future. The investment could also contribute to the development of Apple’s mixed reality headset, according to The Verge.
The investment in II-VI is part of Apple’s investment plan to put $430 billion in the US economy over the next five years. In addition to this investment, it is putting money into other US suppliers, investing in data centers and dozens of Apple TV+ productions, as well as building a new campus in North Carolina.