Apple to Invest in Munich-based R&D Center

March 31, 2021 by Shannon Cuthrell

Apple is pouring more than $1 billion into its new silicon design center in Munich, Germany.

Apple recently unveiled plans to create a European Silicon Design Center in Munich, Germany, housing its research and development operations focused on 5G connectivity and wireless semiconductors and hardware. The expansion investment amounts to over 1 billion euHeading 5ros (about $1.17 billion USD) in the next three years. The company plans to move into the new 30,000-square-meter facility in 2022. 


A rendering of Apple’s new European Silicon Design Center in Munich, Germany. Image courtesy of Apple
A rendering of Apple’s new European Silicon Design Center in Munich, Germany. Image courtesy of Apple


Apple CEO Tim Cook stated in the announcement that the Munich-based engineering teams will explore everything from “the new frontiers of 5G technology, to a new generation of technologies that bring power, speed, and connectivity to the world.”

The move comes as Apple transitions its product lineups to its own Arm-based silicon chips, replacing the Intel chips Apple devices have used since 2006. The new Arm-based M1 system-on-a-chip (SoC) was released last November with the 2020 lineup of MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and Mac mini devices. 

The upcoming silicon design facility in Munich will also focus on building out the company’s 5G segment, which debuted last year with the first lineup of 5G-compatible iPhone models.

Germany is a key point in Apple’s long-term European job creation plan, focusing on growing the company’s presence in its second-largest region by sales figures in 2020. (European net sales exceeded $68 million last year, second to around $124.5 million in sales from the Americas.) According to Apple’s press release, roughly half of its global power management design team is based in Germany, and its Munich-based teams work on application processor SoCs, as well as analog and mixed signal technologies for the iPhone. 

Apple currently has more than 2,500 employees, 767 suppliers and 15 retail stores across Germany. The company’s presence in Munich dates back to its early days in the 1980s. There, Apple now operates seven offices and two Apple Store locations and employs 1,500 engineers focused on power management design, application processors and wireless technology. There are currently 79 Munich-based job postings listed on Apple’s website

The site will join other Apple engineering hubs in Munich and Germany, including two silicon facilities in Nabern, Kirchheim unter Teck. More than 350 engineers work out of its Bavarian Design Center, which focuses on custom silicon and power management chip units for the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac devices.