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Apple to invest over 1 bn euros in Munich microchip R&D hub

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(FILES) This file photo taken on September 21, 2012 shows customers queueing to enter the Apple Store where a giant logo is displayed in Munich, southern Germany. – US tech giant Apple said on March 10, 2021 it planned to invest more than one billion euros ($1.2 billion) in Germany and open Europe’s biggest research facility on mobile wireless semiconductors and software. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

US tech giant Apple said Wednesday it planned to invest more than one billion euros ($1.2 billion) in Germany and open Europe’s biggest research facility on mobile wireless semiconductors and software.

Apple said it would make Munich its “European Silicon Design Centre”, creating hundreds of new jobs at a facility for 5G and wireless technologies.

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

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“Munich has been a home to Apple for four decades,” he added.

Apple has had a base in Munich since 1981 and now has hundreds of engineers developing microchips at its centres in southern Germany.

The latest investment in the region would “exceed one billion euros in the next three years alone”, the company said.

It added that the planned new facility in Munich, slated to open in 2022, would host “Apple’s growing cellular unit, and Europe’s largest R&D site for mobile wireless semiconductors and software”.

The announcement comes a day after the EU said it aims to capture 20 percent of the world’s semiconductor market by 2030 as Europe looks to become a tech power to rival the US and China.

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Under a new roadmap, the European Commission also wants the EU to develop its first quantum computer before the end of the decade in order to be ready for a new era in fast computing.

A key component in everyday products such as cars and mobile phones, semiconductors are currently in short supply worldwide and Europe is dependent on Chinese and American imports in a market estimated at 440 billion euros ($523 billion) a year.

Shortages, caused by changes in supply chains because of the coronavirus pandemic, have forced some major German manufacturers including Volkswagen to suspend production lines.

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