Data Center News Roundup: Intel to Spin Off Chip Division, New Facilities Unveiled

In this week’s top data center news stories, Intel unveils plans to offload its chip unit, and new facilities are announced around the world.

James Walker

October 6, 2023

5 Min Read
Data Center News Roundup: Top Data Center News
pichetw / Alamy Stock Photo

With data center news moving faster than ever, we want to make it easy for data center professionals to cut through the noise and find the most important stories of the week.

The Data Center Knowledge News Roundup brings you the latest news and developments across the data center industry – from investments and mergers to security threats and industry trends.

To keep up to date with all things data centers, subscribe to the Data Center Knowledge newsletter to get content straight to your inbox.

A Chip Off the Block

It's been another busy week on the data center news front, with Intel unveiling plans to turn its programmable chip division into a standalone business.

Intel's Programmable Solutions Group (PSG) will become an independent entity starting January 1, with an IPO planned for the chipmaker over the next two to three years.

The company paid more than $14 billion for PSG’s parent company Altera in 2015, and analysts said spinning the business off should help unlock some of that value.

"Over the next two to three years, Intel intends to conduct an IPO for PSG and may explore opportunities with private investors to accelerate the business's growth, with Intel retaining a majority stake," the chipmaker said in the statement.

PSG's programmable chips – also known as field programmable gate arrays, or FPGAs – can have their function changed or updated even after they've been installed in electronic devices.

Related:AI Will Eliminate Jobs in the Data Center – But It Will Also Create New Ones

They're used in communications hardware, data center gear, and in the design and development of other chips. 

The Rise of the Machines?

In other data center news this week, our partners at AFCOM took a deep dive into the role of AI in the industry and, importantly, whether this will have a negative impact on the jobs market.

According to the report, while AI may spell trouble for some manually repetitive roles, it may have arrived just in time to make life tenable in the data center.

Much like a series of innovative technologies that came before it, AFOCM said AI has the potential to address the skills shortage in data centers.

"By leveraging AI technologies, there is no doubt that data centers can improve operations and efficiency and do more with less," the organization said.

"AI can automate repetitive and mundane tasks, such as server monitoring and resource allocation, thereby reducing the workload on human operators and allowing them to focus on more strategic and complex aspects of data center management," said Steve Santamaria, CEO of Folio Photonics.

Check out the full report for more insight into this key issue.

Related:When – and When Not – To Outsource Data Center Operations

Spades in the Ground

Despite the uncertainty surrounding the role of AI in the industry, the demand for new data center facilities isn't showing any sign of slowing. This week saw the announcement of several high-profile projects.

In the US, T5 Data Centers announced it had acquired its third location in Chicago. The sprawling, 36MW facility is aimed at meeting the "surging demand" for data center space in the region.

"By strategically locating our new data center in an area facing power constraints, we're providing our clients with state-of-the-art data infrastructure while contributing to the region's sustainable growth," said David Horowitz, executive vice president of leasing for T5.

In Europe, meanwhile, French data center operator Data4 has hired Hill International to manage a new campus in San Agustín de Guadalix, Spain.

According to Hill, MAD2 will encompass four data centers on a 6.5-hectare site with a total capacity of 80 MW. "The new facilities will utilize Data4's efficient and scalable model to support customer growth," the operator said.

Elsewhere, Passus Group, a Polish IT services firm, has secured a PLN4.5 million ($1 million) data center contract with an as-yet-unnamed public institution. 

According to a press release (in Polish), the contract will see Passus implement a monitoring system in the customer's data processing center, among other services.

Growth in Africa

Nigeria's data center market is expected to reach a valuation of nearly $290 million by 2027, a new report suggests.

Citing fresh data from Research and Markets this week, The Nigerian Voice said Nigeria's data center market was valued at around $130 million in 2022.

The expected 220% growth in the African nation’s data center market is attributed to the burgeoning fintech and startup ecosystem.

Fresh Approaches to Sustainability

And finally, The Verge ran a highly interesting piece this week that highlights Microsoft's efforts to improve its data center sustainability by using new building materials.

The article noted that cement manufacturing is responsible for 8% of global carbon dioxide emissions.

In a bid to further improve its sustainability profile, Microsoft is testing out "futuristic" concrete mixes that may result in 50% lower carbon dioxide emissions.

"This January, outside of one of its data centers, it poured different kinds of mixes out to harden into concrete slabs as part of the pilot project," said Verge science reporter, Justine Calma.

"They'll observe the slabs over the next several months to see how they might fare if used to construct data centers in the future."

Rock on!

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How to Prepare Your IT Organization to Survive a Major Power Grid Collapse. Will it be 'lights out' for your IT organization if the local power grid fails? Here are the steps you can take today to prepare for a potentially dark future.

Early AI Data Center Investments Target the Core, Not the Edge. Tech firms are investing in high-performance computing infrastructure for AI. So far, they're not targeting the edge, but edge computing may still play a role in the future of AI.

About the Author(s)

James Walker

James Walker is the Senior Editor of Data Center Knowledge. He has more than 16 years of experience writing for business and technology publications, with a focus on translating technical issues to make them more accessible and engaging.

Before joining DCK, James was editor of The Daily Swig, an award-winning cybersecurity news website, and his work has been featured in The Times and BBC Online, among other publications. His first full-length book, HIT: Once Upon a Field, was published in 2023.

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