Meta, the parent company of Facebook, is investing over $1 billion in building a new data center in Spain to help build the foundation of its metaverse, along with plans to hire 2,000 staff in the region to push development.
“As our company prepares to help build the metaverse, we’re placing Spain at the heart of our plans,” said Meta’s Javier Olivan, vice president of cross-Meta products and infrastructure, in a statement.
Meta, the Menlo Park, Calif.-based social media giant that owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, is slated to build the $1.1 billion data center campus in the Toledo region of Spain.
The company said the new data center should be built by 2023 but is not expected to be fully operational until 2029. Meta has been one of the four largest spenders on building and equipping new hyperscale data centers across the world over the past several years, along with Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Google, according to data from Synergy Research Group.
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Meta also said it will recruiting up to 2,000 people over the next five years in Spain as it plans to double its office space in Madrid. Spain’s capital will also host the world’s first Meta Lab, which is a flexible workspace for Meta remote workers with space for local technology entrepreneurs and startups.
Meta’s New Metaverse Innovation Hub
At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this month, Meta announced its new Metaverse Innovation Hub, a research center in Madrid, aimed at helping technology operators and partners to prepare for metaverse applications.
“Creating a true sense of presence in virtual worlds delivered to smart glasses and VR headsets will require massive advances in connectivity, bigger than any of the step changes we‘ve seen before,” Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder and Meta CEO, said in a recent statement.
The metaverse is Meta’s bullish plan of creating a digital reality world where people can interact, play and exchange goods and services as avatars.
What The Metaverse Needs To Become A Reality
This metaverse will need the ability to process vast amounts of data quickly in ways that aren’t supported in the technology industry as of 2022. More open and faster infrastructure and software are needed, said Dan Rabinovitsj, Meta’s vice president of connectivity.
“The move to the metaverse is an unprecedented opportunity for the connectivity industry,” said Rabinovitsj in a recent blog post. “It must be built on a foundation of openness and interoperability and be accessible to as many people as possible.”
The metaverse will require innovations in edge computing, hybrid local and remote real-time rendering, video compression, cross-layer visibility, network optimizations, improved latency between devices and within radio access networks, and much more, he said.
Meta is currently striving to build the world’s fastest AI supercomputer with the largest deployment of Nvidia’s DGS A100 systems to date.
Meta’s new AI Reasech SuperCluster will use 16,000 Nvidia A100 GPUs to train large AI models for a variety of purposes related to its metaverse when the cluster is fully built out in mid-2022. Nvidia said this will make the AI Research SuperCluster the largest customer installation of Nvidia DGX A100 systems when it is fully deployed.
(Pictured: A Meta data center in Denmark.)