Apple to invest $1.2B in Germany, with focus on 5G and beyond

Apple Germany
Across Germany, Apple now has more than 4,000 “team members” in a range of roles, including engineering, retail and operations. (Apple)

Apple announced plans to invest over $1.2 billion in R&D and a new European silicon design center in Munich, Germany, with a focus on 5G and future wireless technologies.

Munich will be the location for Apple’s European Silicon Design Center, where it plans to add hundreds of new employees and a new state-of-the-art facility focused on connectivity and wireless tech. The city already is home to Apple’s largest engineering hub in Europe, employing close to 1,500 engineers working in a variety of areas, including power management design and application processors.

The expansion in Munich, together with additional investment in R&D, will exceed 1 billion euros over the next three years, according to Apple.

“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 Apple CEO Tim Cook in a statement. “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.” 

About half of Apple’s global power management design team is located in Germany. Apple also employs teams in Munich working on application processor SoCs and analog and mixed signal solutions for the iPhone.  

Semiconductors & software

According to Apple, the new 30,000-square-meter facility will be home to Apple’s growing cellular unit and Europe’s largest R&D site for mobile wireless semiconductors and software.

The facility is located in central Munich’s Karlstrasse. Apple plans to start moving into the new building in late 2022.

Apple’s news release didn’t elaborate on the technology it’s eyeing beyond 5G, but it recently posted job listings for 6G engineers to work at its California locations.

RELATED: Apple eyes 6G for new hires

Apple is using 5G modems designed by Qualcomm after settling a contentious lawsuit with the San Diego-based chip company. But Bloomberg, which spotted the job posts, noted that the listings are another sign of Apple’s continued push into developing more wireless technology in-house and a desire to be on the cutting edge for 6G. Apple bought Intel’s modem business in 2019, marking a big step toward supplying its own smartphone chips.