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Apple to set up $1.2bn silicon design centre in Germany

Apple has announced plans to establish a silicon design centre in Munich, Germany, creating a state-of-the-art facility focused on 5G and future wireless technologies and enabling hundreds of new jobs.

Apple has said it intends to invest $1.2bn (€1bn) over the next three years to expand its team in the German city and increase the necessary research and development facilities in what will be known as the 'European Silicon Design Centre'.

Munich is already Apple’s largest engineering hub in Europe, with around 1,500 engineers from 40 countries working in areas including power management design, application processors and wireless technologies. Apple's headquarters is the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California.

The new Munich facility will be home to Apple’s growing cellular unit, Europe’s largest R&D site for mobile wireless semiconductors and software, Apple said in a statement, adding that the team would focus on 5G and other wireless technologies.

The aim of the European Silicon Design Centre is to facilitate tighter integration of the hardware and software engineering in Apple products so as to better exploit the potential of wireless technologies such as 5G and beyond. The research will focus on developing, integrating and optimising wireless modems for Apple products. A sister Apple site in Linz, Austria, is already actively researching new radio technologies.

The Munich expansion plan follows a $600m deal struck by Apple with Anglo-German chip designer Dialog Semiconductor in 2018 to bring in-house the teams designing the main power chips used in its iPhone and other devices.

“I couldn’t be more excited for everything our Munich engineering teams will discover – from exploring the new frontiers of 5G technology, to a new generation of technologies that bring power, speed, and connectivity to the world,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Munich has been a home to Apple for four decades and we’re grateful to this community and to Germany for being a part of our journey.”

The new 30,000-square-metre facility will be located in central Munich’s Karlstrasse, with the architecture and gardens highlighting local materials to reflect Munich as a city that combines heritage, humanity and innovation.

Apple plans to start moving into the new building in late 2022, with the Centre architecturally designed to have LEED Gold certification from day one. Like all Apple offices, it will run entirely on 100 per cent renewable energy.

Apple has over 4,000 employees in Germany working across a wide range of roles, including retail, engineering and operations.

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