Google has been scooping up land contracts totaling more than $389 million in San Jose, California in what preliminary plans suggest is a new campus with a dedicated research and development center, CNBC reports.
According to that same CNBC report, Google’s new campus plans have been in the works since 2018. The new campus, which the company is calling Midpoint, will sit between its campus in San Jose and Google’s main headquarters in Mountain View. Midpoint will comprise five buildings linked by a footbridge. The planning documents also show three industrial buildings, which will act as a base for the company’s hardware division.
The new campus design indicates an intent to improve connectivity between the company and its surrounding community, particularly its non-tech neighbors. The plans also suggest that Google is preparing for more employees to begin working on site as pandemic restrictions loosen.
As of the time of writing, Google has yet to make an official statement regarding the new campus and its purpose. The rumors make a lot of sense considering recent statements from Google executives about the company putting more focus on hardware. Rick Osterloh, Google’s hardware chief, told the Verge that Google is readying itself for big moves in the hardware space.
So far, Google’s forays into hardware production have been hit-or-miss. Revenue figures from the company’s hardware unit are meagre when compared to its core internet-based services like YouTube and Google Cloud.
The future is promising, with products like its flagship Pixel smartphone and PixelBook laptops slowly picking up market share after disastrous first outings. Google’s Nest line of smart home products have also sold well in retail. Google is also looking to take more control over the production of the internals in its Pixel phones, with the company announcing it would begin creating its own chips and no longer using Qualcomm chips.
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