Apple Inc. said it’s planning to build a new semiconductor design center in Munich as part of a 1 billion-euro ($1.2 billion) investment push to develop custom chips for 5G mobile and other wireless technologies in Germany.
Apple plans to move into the 30,000-square-meter (98,400-square-foot) facility near central Munich in late 2022 and plans to hire hundreds of people, the company announced on Wednesday.
Apple to Build European Semiconductor Design Center in Munich
A rendering of Apple Inc.’s new semiconductor design center in Munich.Source: Apple Inc.
“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,” Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said in a statement.
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The area around the Bavarian capital is a hub for chip development, with the Fraunhofer Group for Microelectronics, one of Europe’s major semiconductor-based technology research institutes, based in Munich and longtime Apple partner Infineon Technologies AG located in the region. Apple’s investment in Germany will be spread over three years.
The company has been developing its own semiconductors to bring more of the technology that runs its smartphones, laptops and tablets in-house. Last year, it said it will develop its own cellular modem, potentially displacing supplier Qualcomm Inc. for the technology that lets iPhones connect to the web, access apps and make phone calls.
A shortage of semiconductors, which have a supply chain that’s difficult to adjust quickly, have hit several industries starting last year as companies underestimated consumer demand during the pandemic.
The European Union kicked off a program this week to produce its own advanced semiconductors by 2030, aiming to account for at least 20% of the world’s chips by value and to create technology more advanced than those made by industry leaders like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Samsung Electronics Co.