Company History Timeline — 1980s

In a decade of growing global presence and rapid economic change, the massive impact of computer technology on all product lines results not only in products with higher performance at lower cost, but also in radical changes in processes and the organization as a whole.

Frequency and Time-interval Analyzer


  • Net Revenue: $3 billion; Employees: 57,000.


  • Signal Data Network is the first to relay data fast enough to allow monitoring of many different hospital beds from one central station.


  • World’s first microprocessor-based network analyzer allows users to make fast and convenient magnitude or phase-response measurements in near real time across previously unheard-of frequency ranges.
  • Company establishes first high-tech joint venture in China.
  • Net Revenue: $6.5 billion; Employees: 85,000.

Company's 50th Anniversary


  • Bill Hewlett retires as vice chairman of the board of directors.
  • Walter Hewlett (son of Bill) and David Woodley Packard (son of Dave) are elected to the HP board of directors.


  • Digital multimeter makes high-frequency, high-accuracy, and high-resolution voltage measurements with one instrument.
  • Analyzer able to measure terahertz transmission bandwidths is developed for use in optical telecommunications.
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