Focus on 5G and Wireless Technologies
The tech business giant announced today that it will build a 30,000 square meter (323,000 square feet facility in Munich in late 2022. The company also said it plans to make Munich its Silicon Design Center in Europe and hire hundreds of new employees.
Apple added that the new facility will be the largest research and development (R&D) site for semiconductors and software in Europe and will overshadow similar facilities like the ones of Arm’s in Cambridge and NXP’s in Eindhoven.
“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, CEO of the tech company.
The move comes amid a global semiconductor chip shortage that has plagued the automotive industry and other sectors. The chip crunch has also raised concerns among governments as these semiconductors are used in nearly every electronic device we use each day, as well as in our cars.
Apple also said the new lab will focus on developing 5G and future wireless technologies, as well as modems for its business products. At the moment, Apple has 4,000 employees in Germany and 1,500 engineers at seven of its Munich-based offices.
Apple’s Munich-based engineers are mostly focused on power management design, application processors, and wireless technologies. These tech engineers have contributed to the performance improvements on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and the new M1 Macbook.
The tech business titan said that it has invested more than €15 billion with over 700 companies in Germany in the past five years, including the chip company Infineon and battery maker Varta.
VC investor Nathan Beniach has voiced his support for Apple’s decision to build a new lab in Munich and expressed his bullishness.
“I think vertical integration for Apple means greater control over their supply chain and margins, but most importantly the flexibility to design exactly what they need to power the products they want to build,” Beniach said.
On a more negative note for Apple’s business, today's Nikkei Asia report states that the tech company has slashed overall iPhone production by 20% compared to plans announced in December. This business decision will mostly affect the iPhone Mini 12 series, which has faced weaker-than-expected demand.
Apple announced it is building a new chip lab in Munich as a part of its €1 billion ($1.19 billion) investment program for Germany.
About the Author
Avi Ben Ezra is the CTO and Co-founder of SnatchBot and SnatchApp (Snatch Group Limited). He leads the Group’s long-term technology vision and is responsible for running all facets of the tech business which includes being the architect of the platforms and UI interfaces.