Apple to Build New Mobile Wireless Design Center in Munich

Article By : Nitin Dahad

Apple Inc. has announced it will be opening a major new design center in Munich for mobile wireless semiconductors and software, spending over €1 billion over the next three years.

Apple Inc. has announced it will be opening a major new design center in Munich for mobile wireless semiconductors and software, spending over €1 billion over the next three years.

Apple said in a press statement that it will make Munich its European silicon design center, adding hundreds of new employees and a new state-of-the-art facility focused on connectivity and wireless technologies. Munich is already its largest engineering hub in Europe, with close to 1,500 engineers from 40 countries working in a variety of areas including power management design, application processors, and wireless technologies. Their work is contributing to Apple’s custom silicon designs, and the expansion in Munich, together with additional investment in R&D, will exceed €1 billion over three years.

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said, “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.”

The new facility will be home to Apple’s growing cellular unit, and Europe’s largest R&D site for mobile wireless semiconductors and software. The team will be creating 5G and future technologies, looking at innovation in all aspects of the wireless experience through the seamless integration of hardware and software engineering. Teams will also focus on developing, integrating, and optimizing wireless modems for Apple products. Apple’s site in Linz, Austria, is driving new radio technologies.

Apple’s proposed new European design center in Munich (Source: Apple)

The new, 30,000-square-meter facility is located in central Munich’s Karlstrasse. Apple plans to start moving into the new building in late 2022, and it will have LEED Gold certification from day one. The company said that, like all Apple offices globally, it will run entirely on 100% renewable energy. Across Germany, Apple now employs over 4,000 people in a range of roles, including retail, engineering, and operations.

Apple has been operating in Munich since 1981 when it started with 10 employees. Now, Apple staff work across seven offices in the city. In 2015, Apple opened its Bavarian design center which has grown to more than 350 engineers. The teams’ initial focus was on power management design, and they have been critical to Apple’s efforts to deliver multiple power management unit chips. The teams have created custom silicon, delivering greater performance and better efficiency for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac with the M1 chip.

In 2019, through its acquisition of Dialog Semiconductor’s power management IC assets, the company added silicon engineering sites in Nabern, Kirchheim unter Teck. Today, about half of Apple’s global power management design team is located in Germany, and Apple also has teams in Munich working on application processor SoCs, and analog and mixed signal solutions for iPhone. Apple stated that in the past five years, it has spent over €15 billion with more than 700 companies of all sizes across Germany. This includes the chip manufacturer Infineon, battery company Varta, and the family-owned chemical company DELO, which is delivering resin for Face ID technology in Apple’s newest products, including iPhone 12 Pro.

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