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Apple plots €1 billion Munich lab for 5G chip production

The company will use the Silicon Design Centre to explore the "new frontiers of 5G technology"

Apple has announced that it plans to create a major new chip lab in Munich as part of a £857 million (€1 billion) investment in Germany over the next three years

The tech giant will make Munich its "European Silicon Design Centre", with the city set to home Apple's growing cellular unit as well as Europe's largest R&D site for mobile wireless semiconductors and software. The site will focus on 5G and future wireless technologies, Apple said, adding that it will also develop modems for Apple products.

Through the investment, Apple will recruit hundreds of new employees, according to a blog post.

“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-meter facility will run entirely on 100% renewable energy and the company hopes to start moving into the new building in late 2022.

Munich is already Apple’s largest engineering hub in Europe with approximately 1,500 engineers from 40 countries, who are part of over 4,000 team members the company has across the country in a range of roles including retail and operations.

This new expansion in Munich, as well as additional investment in R&D, will mean the company is set to invest over €1 billion in Germany over the next three years.

Over the last five years, Apple has spent over £12 billion (€15 billion) with over 700 companies of all sizes in Germany including chip manufacturer Infineon, battery company Varta and chemical company DELO which delivers the resin for Face ID technology.

This will be welcome news in Germany as well as for Apple who earlier this month opened all its US stores for the first time in a year as it had to shut them during the pandemic.

Yesterday, it was announced that Apple is facing another iOS privacy lawsuit in Europe. This comes on the heels that a UK competition watchdog is probing Apple’s “unfair developer terms”.

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