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Apple is hiring for a super 'secret' lab in northern Oregon


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Apple has declined comment, but job postings indicate the facility will produce processors

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Recap: Apple looks to be opening a chip manufacturing facility near Portland, Oregon. At least two dozen engineers have already been hired to work at the undisclosed location. The lab would fall in line with the company's plan to ditch Intel chips in favor of first-party processors.

When Apple announced Project Kalamata last month, it was not supposed to begin until 2020. However, according to The Oregonian, the Cupertino-based company has already opened a facility in Oregon and is recruiting talent to work there.

The location of the secret engineering lab is undisclosed, but a source “familiar with Apple recruiting efforts” says that the facility is located near the border of Beaverton and Hillsboro.

According to the report, the company has already snagged two dozen engineers from Intel, which itself has a chip plant located in downtown Portland. 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. The hiring effort has been going on since November.

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Apple declined to comment on the facility and its purpose, but it certainly appears that Cupertino is gearing up to open a chip plant in Oregon. It will not be Apple’s only facility in the Pacific Northwest. 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.

The new facility is also not the first secret outpost Cupertino has built and operates in the Beaver State. Apple’s Advanced Computation Group (ACG) is headquartered in a converted firehouse in Southeast Portland. This location was unknown until the Oregonian began digging into the suspected chip facility. Sources say that the ACG has operated out of that firehouse for almost 10 years, but this was unknown until last Wednesday.

Of course, since everything is on the down low with Apple, there is no telling when or if the secret lab will ever go public. If it is the location of Apple's new chip manufacturing plant, it appears that it is getting a headstart on its 2020 timeline.

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