Intel to sell historic Massachusetts R&D site to developer • The Register

As Intel prepares to build factories in Arizona and Ohio, giant x86 plans to offload a historic 149-acre research and development site in Massachusetts that once housed the Intel’s only chip manufacturing facility. business in New England.

An Intel spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday The register he plans to sell the property. The company plans to hand over the site to a new owner, a property developer, next summer, after which it will be completely demolished.

The site is located at 75 Reed Rd in Hudson, Massachusetts, between Boston and Worcester. It housed more than 800 R&D employees, according to Intel. The spokesperson told us that the American giant will move its employees from Hudson to a facility it rents in Harvard, Massachusetts, about 13 miles away.

Kristina Johnson, director of planning and community development at Hudson, told us that the buyer of Intel’s Hudson property is Atlanta-based real estate developer Portman Industrial, which intends to demolish the two buildings. of site offices and build a logistics warehouse for an undisclosed company.

A site of historical significance

The Hudson site has significance in the history of the US computer industry as it was built by Digital Equipment Corporation in 1979, when DEC and other technology companies based around Massachusetts’ Route 128 corridor were competing with those of Silicon Valley.

DEC’s Hudson site housed two R&D buildings and a chip manufacturing plant, where “it built the most sophisticated microprocessors in the world” in the 1980s, as one former employee put it.

At its peak, DEC was once the world’s second-largest computer maker, after IBM, and it was Massachusetts’ largest private-sector employer in 1989, according to a Boston Globe retrospective.

However, after making billions for years on minicomputers – general-purpose computers cheaper than mainframes – the DEC collapsed in the 1990s as minicomputers fell out of favor. In 1998, Compaq acquired DEC for $9 billion, then sold itself a few years later to HP for $25 billion.

Intel gives DEC factory a boost

DEC’s Hudson site ultimately ended up in the hands of Intel following a legal settlement between the two over alleged patent infringements.

Intel maintained the factory in Hudson for more than a decade, producing 200mm wafers for chipsets and other products, until it decided in 2013 to close it because ownership was not not “big enough” to accommodate the equipment needed to manufacture advanced chips.

The processor maker then spent a few years trying to sell the factory, but when there was no interest, it demolished the factory in 2015.

Since then, the Hudson site has been home to R&D employees who, after mostly shifting to remote work for some time during the pandemic, won’t be calling home for much longer. ®

We would like to thank our New England reader who briefed us on Intel’s plans for Hudson. If you have any other information you would like to share, you can always email us confidentially.