At the start of 2021, Google opened a new hardware engineering hub in Taiwan that houses Pixel, Nest, and Chromecast teams. Google is now eyeing a so-called “hardware center” in San Jose.
According to CNBC, Google is planning another San Jose campus in addition to the massive Downtown West project. This hardware center will consist of three “industrial” buildings, and the planning documents explicitly reference “Nest” and “Google Hardware.”
Warehouse-like in nature, 80% of one will be used for manufacturing, storage, and distribution. In addition to office space (meeting rooms, micro kitchens, etc.), there will be “equipment platforms, conveyor belts and a shipping warehouse.”
It remains to be seen what “manufacturing” actually entails, but CNBC speculates that it will be for “prototype devices.” As such, this is presumably not a large-scale effort to create devices in the US, but no other details or an official announcement are available yet. Google’s most notable foray into that was the canceled Nexus Q media streamer that predated the Chromecast.
Meanwhile, Google is also building a campus next to the hardware center. “Midpoint” will be comprised of five existing buildings that the company purchased over the years and plans to renovate to house 2,800-3,500 Googlers. This is in comparison to Downtown West with office space for up to 20,000 employees. Given the proximity to the center, it would not be too surprising if Made by Google teams were eventually moved here to allow for closer collaboration.
One notable aspect is a pedestrian and bike bridge that connects the buildings and will also be open to the public. It’s over a particularly “busy roadway.” Other efforts include replacing parking lots with green areas. There are no details on when this site will open.
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