Facebook has opened a new 22,000 square foot hardware engineering campus that will house development teams for projects ranging from the Oculus virtual reality headset to the firm's Aquila solar-powered plane.
The new facility, dubbed Area 404, has opened in Menlo Park, Facebook’s existing California campus, and is designed to help its teams work more closely and share ideas, rather than being distributed around the globe.
Other teams that will be based at the facility include Facebook's Infrastructure team, which is developing new server technology under the Open Compute Project, and the cutting-edge Building 8 group.
Facebook’s Spencer Burns, listed online as a computer numerically controlled model maker, explained in a Facebook blog post that the new facility will have a huge impact on the work being done by the various teams at the firm.
“With this new space, we can now handle the majority of our modelling, prototyping, and failure analysis in-house, decreasing each iteration of the development cycle from weeks to days,” he said.
“Even more important, the space has room for all teams, with more than 50 workbenches in the main area. Connectivity Lab, Oculus, Building 8 and our Infrastructure teams can now work collaboratively in the same space, learning from one another as they build.”
Burns went on to explain that the facility is split into two main areas, one for electrical engineering labs and one for prototyping, to give both teams access to the tools they need to build and test ideas.
“The electrical engineering labs provide space and equipment for the various teams to test and debug their designs. Much of the work in these labs is very specialised, with equipment set-ups that are custom to the products being developed,” wrote Burns.
“The prototyping workshops are stocked with a variety of machine tools, including multi-axis machines, that enable teams to quickly iterate on complex problems.
“With our expanded lab space, we are advancing the pace of hardware research and development already happening in Facebook by bringing our experts together.”
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