Apple’s Face ID supplier has been acquired for $3.2 billion

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VCSEL
The company that made Face ID possible has been snapped up.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Finisar, supplier of the laser scanners used to enable Face ID in Apple’s latest iOS devices, has been acquired for a reported $3.2 billion.

II-VI Incorporated, a leading producer of optoelectronic systems, announced its purchase on Friday. It expects to close the deal, which is expected to generate $2.5 billion in annual revenue, in mid-2019 following regulatory approval.

iPhone supplier sees increasing Face ID orders ahead of new devices

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Face ID attention awareness
Face ID can now recognize a second person.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

One of Apple’s manufacturing partners is enjoying a sizable boost in revenue off the back of increased orders for Face ID components.

Lumentum’s vertical-cavity-surface-emitting laser (VCSEL), a key component of the flood illuminator and dot projector inside iPhone X, is in high demand as Apple prepares its next-generation iPhone and iPad lineups for a fall debut.

The future of high-speed broadband is in your iPhone X

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VCSEL
The laser in the iPhone X's Face ID could one day transform the speed of broadband.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

That nifty little laser in the iPhone X that scans your face to create a custom animated emoji could also connect cities with ultra high-speed broadband.

That’s what a team of researchers in Europe have discovered by combining the laser with silicon photonics to create long-wavelength, high-capacity communications. If implemented, it could make data logjams a thing of the past.

Apple makes big investment in TrueDepth sensor maker

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TrueDepth Finisar
TrueDepth sensors in production at Finisar.
Photo: Apple

Apple has invested a substantial sum of cash in TrueDepth sensor maker Finisar.

The $390 million fund will allow for increased research and development spending, and high-volume production of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs). It will also allow Finisar to open a new production facility in Texas, creating more than 500 jobs.