Facebook Opens New Lab to Focus on Hardware

Inside the Facebook hardware lab in Menlo Park, Calif., which opened its doors on Aug. 2, 2016.

Tour Facebook’s new 22,000-square-foot hardware lab  

Facebook is strengthening its position in hardware.

The social media company on Wednesday unveiled Area 404, a 22,000-square-foot dedicated hardware lab, in its headquarters in Menlo Park, California. The expanded space will help Facebook continue its 10-year plan to create more systems to connect the world.

“This lab allows us to do design, prototype, and testing in the one facility now, and that’s a great asset for Facebook,” Mikael Greaves, mechanical and power manager at Facebook, told CNBC.

Inside the Facebook hardware lab in Menlo Park, Calif.

Source: Facebook
Inside the Facebook hardware lab in Menlo Park, Calif.

The new space will be divided into an electrical engineering lab and prototype workshops. Greaves said the lab will employ eight to 10 full-time workers, but there is space for up to 80 engineers.

Facebook has an existing custom lab in its headquarters, where it works on projects for its VR-company Oculus and houses the Connectivity Lab and Infrastructure teams. Its first lab, which was created five years ago, was housed in a repurposed mail room. Previous work has included Teragraph, the social media company’s point-to-pint wireless network, and production of prototypes for its data center, which is housed in Prineville, Oregon.

Inside the Facebook hardware lab in Menlo Park, Calif., which opened its doors on Aug. 2, 2016.

Source: Facebook
Inside the Facebook hardware lab in Menlo Park, Calif., which opened its doors on Aug. 2, 2016.

Together with Area 404, it now has 30,000 square feet dedicated to hardware development at Menlo Park.

The company also has hardware labs across the world, including the Oculus facility in Seattle, the long-range aircraft Aquila hangar in the U.K. and a laser communications lab in Southern California.

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