Apple gives a laser company that builds some of its AR technology $ 410 million

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Apple has announced that it is awarding Pennsylvania-based optical technology company II-IV $ 410 million from its Advanced Manufacturing Fund. CEO of Apple Tim Cook tweeted that the company’s technology supports Apple’s FaceID, Memoji and Portrait mode. The company also produces lasers used in the LIDAR scanner in the iPhone 12 Pro and iPad Pro, technology Apple cites as the key to augmented reality experiences.

Finisar, that was later taken over by II-VI (pronounced “two-six”) received $ 390 million from Apple’s fund in 2017. While this latest investment likely shows that Apple plans to keep FaceID (which is powered by II-IV’s vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers) for a while, it could also be another sign hinting at Apple’s future with AR and VR.

Tim Cook has said publicly that he believes AR is “critical” to Apple’s future, and II-IV makes devices that help computers see the world in 3D. The money could help develop a more advanced version of the technology already found on Apple devices, possibly ahead of the mixed reality headset rumors. The CEO of II-IV says in Apple’s press release that the partnership with Apple “paves the way for a new wave of breakthrough technologies that we believe will enable a wide variety of applications that will benefit our world for decades to come. come. “

The press release says II-IV will use the money to expand manufacturing capacity, create jobs and “accelerate the delivery of future components for the iPhone.”