Sherman is 'world capital' of exotic iPhone component - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Sherman is 'world capital' of exotic iPhone component

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Workers remake the old MEMC facility to Finisar specifications. (KTEN) Workers remake the old MEMC facility to Finisar specifications. (KTEN)
When renovations are complete, Finisar will manufacture VCSEL chips for use in Apple iPhones. (KTEN) When renovations are complete, Finisar will manufacture VCSEL chips for use in Apple iPhones. (KTEN)
Workers are making big changes inside the former MEMC plant in Sherman. (KTEN) Workers are making big changes inside the former MEMC plant in Sherman. (KTEN)
Finisar says it expects to be producing VCSEL chips at its new Sherman home this fall. (KTEN) Finisar says it expects to be producing VCSEL chips at its new Sherman home this fall. (KTEN)

SHERMAN, Texas -- Excitement is building about Finisar.

The global high-tech company -- with facilities on four continents -- is busy moving into its new Grayson County production facility at the former MEMC building on U.S. 75 in south Sherman.

Finisar is hiring hundreds of employees to build vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) used in iPhone cameras.

There is still a lot of construction at the site as it is being remodeled for its new mission.

"We're always excited about our industries growing and expanding," said Sherman Mayor David Plyler.

Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-District 4) got a personal tour of the sprawling plant on Friday morning.

"They're doing incredible work here, and fortunately a lot of the work being done here is going to benefit everyone in Grayson County," he said.

The 693,000 square foot building needed a facelift for the kind of product Finisar is making. That's the task facing facility manager Bruce Armstrong.

"It's too big, too nice a building to sit idle, so to see people in it -- to see working happening, construction sounds -- it's invigorating to be part of something this large."

In a partnership with Apple, Finisar will be the primary producer of  VCSELs for the iPhone X and its successors.

"VCSELs will be very important in a number of different consumer applications," Finisar executive Curt Barrett explained. "We think this is going to be the epicenter... the capital of the world."

With 600 employees being added, it only means one thing for the community: Growth. 

"It's exciting, it's wonderful, it's tremendous we are getting this much attention, but we got to buckle down and get this thing happening," Barrett said.

Finisar said they expect to start production on those VCSEL chips as early as this fall.

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