In early 2021, Google opened a new hardware development center in Taiwan, which houses the Pixel, Nest and Chromecast development teams. Google is currently considering the creation of a so-called “hardware center” in San Jose.
According to CNBC, Google plans to build another campus in San Jose in addition to the massive Downtown West project. This hardware center will consist of three industrial buildings, and the planning documents explicitly mention “Nest” and “Google Hardware”.
Warehouse type by nature, 80% of one of them will be used for production, storage and distribution. In addition to office space (meeting rooms, microkitchens, etc.), there will be “equipment platforms, conveyor belts and a shipping warehouse.”
It’s unclear what “production” actually means, but CNBC suggests it will target “device prototypes.” Presumably, this is not a large-scale effort to build devices in the US, but there are no other details or official announcement yet. Google’s most notable attempt in this direction was the canceled Nexus Q media streamer, which predated the Chromecast.
Meanwhile, Google is also building a campus next to the hardware center. Midpoint will consist of five existing buildings that the company has acquired over several years and plans to renovate to accommodate between 2,800 and 3,500 employees. Given its proximity to the city center, it won’t be too surprising if Made by Google teams move here over time to enable closer collaboration.
One notable aspect is the pedestrian and bicycle bridge that connects the buildings and will also be open to the public. It passes over a particularly “busy road”. Other efforts include replacing parking lots with green spaces. There are no details yet on when this facility will open.