Apple isn't new to the OR area. The company has hired almost two dozen people who are former employees of Intel and other tech companies in the area, according to job listings, social media accounts, and a source familiar with the recruiting efforts of Apple. We've reported on Apple's ambitions to go its own way when it comes to desktop CPUs, at the time not finding convincing evidence that Apple was ready to make a split from Intel, the current designer and manufacturer of chips found in Apple's desktop PCs. The exact location of the lab is not revealed yet, but sources familiar with the project said it is situated somewhere near the border of Hillsboro and Beaverton.
If Apple is indeed stealing Intel engineers, there's only one reason to do that, the ARM-based MacBook that's supposedly in the works. OR also has a large cluster of web service companies in downtown Portland.
When Apple announced Project Kalamata last month, it was not supposed to begin until 2020. Apple is looking to fill other positions as well. Job postings state that they are looking for "design verification experts" to work in the Portland area.
Apple declined to comment on the facility and its objective, but it certainly appears that Cupertino is gearing up to open a chip plant in Oregon. It operates three massive 338,000-square-foot data centers in Prineville. It also has a software development team just over the river in Vancouver, Washington that it established about 25 years ago. However, this new hardware lab may be the first part of the shift.
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Additionally, Apple's Advanced Computation Group is located in Portland and has reportedly been there for nearly a decade.
Separately, Apple set up a secret facility in Washington County, where it hired close two two-dozen people.
The company is reportedly planning to make the shift from 2020, with the unveiling of the first first Apple/ARM-powered computing hardware next year.