Meta to build $800 million, AI-first data center in Indiana

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Facebook parent company Meta will build one of its first data centers dedicated to generative AI workloads in Jeffersonville, Indiana, creating roughly 100 operational jobs and about 1,250 in construction work at a cost of $800 million.

The new data center, which Meta expects to be operational by 2026, was announced yesterday by Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb and Meta executives. According to a statement issued by Indiana’s Economic Development Corporation, the data center will be powered solely by renewable energy sources.

Covering a total of almost 700,000 square feet, Meta’s new data center will be among the company’s first to be designed first and foremost with AI workloads in mind, according to a company spokesperson. Its hardware will be a mix of custom, in-house silicon and GPUs, and feature high-density racks, along with colocation of servers with the network (servers and networking equipment will share the same physical infrastructure).

“This also enables efficiency in our fiber deployment, because we need a significant [amount] of fiber to interconnect these servers,” said Meta infra data center global engineering director Alan Duong, in a presentation on the company’s data center plans last year.

The facility will also feature direct-to-chip liquid cooling, similar to the liquid cooling loops available in enthusiast desktop PCs, but on a grand scale. Such cooling systems are said to be more cost-efficient than either immersive liquid cooling or air-cooling technology.

In exchange for siting the new data center on 619 acres of land in Jeffersonville’s River Ridge Commerce Center, Meta will receive a 35-year sales tax exemption from the state of Indiana – a time period which can be extended if the company decides to expand its data center plans for the area.

“The economic activity around this new data center will support every sector of our economy, and we appreciate all those who have worked to bring Meta to Jeffersonville,” said Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore.

AI is a key contributor to increasing data center workload demands, and more and more companies are building out capacity either to offer to others or to power their own in-house solutions. That’s caused substantial new energy demand, in turn, and a recent report from the International Energy Agency suggests that global power consumption by data centers could equal the entire present-day requirements for the nation of Japan by 2026, when Meta’s new facility is expected to come online.

Data Center, Generative AI

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