Company History Timeline — 2000s

Following its successful IPO in 1999, Agilent is now a fully independent company focusing on high-growth markets in communications, electronics and life sciences. Recognized as an industry leader, Agilent is first worldwide in the test and measurement market.

Photonic Switching Platform


  • On June 2, 2000, Agilent Technologies becomes a fully independent company, following HP’s distribution of its Agilent shares to HP Shareholders.
  • The introduction of Agilent’s Photonic Switching Platform accelerates the development of all-optical networks.
  • Net Revenue: $10.8 billion; Employees: 47,000.


  • Co-founder William R. Hewlett dies on January 12.
  • Acquisition of Objective System Integrators Inc. (OSI) enables Agilent to provide a complete solution to service providers who offer 3G wireless, optical, broadband Internet Protocol and voice over packet networks and services.
  • Philips acquires Agilent Technologies’ Healthcare Solutions Group.
  • Net Revenue: $8.4 billion; Employees: 37,000.


  • Agilent's first listing on Fortune magazine's list of the top 500 U.S. companies: No. 212.
  • President and CEO Ned Barnholt named Chairman of the Board.
  • Agilent acquires RedSwitch, adding expertise in InfiniBand and RapidIO to Agilent's product portfolio.
  • Agilent ships over 100 million optical mouse sensor components worldwide.
  • Net Revenue: $6 billion; Employees: 36,000.


  • The company’s first whole human genome on single microarray ships to gene expression customers for evaluation.
  • Agilent introduces miniature camera modules for camera-enabled mobile phones.
  • Agilent ships 200 millionth optical mouse sensor and 20 millionth FBAR duplexer.
  • Net Revenue: $6.1 billion; Employees: 29,000.


  • Agilent's Visual Engineering Environment (VEE) Pro system-development software provides the interface to test communication equipment in the Mars Exploration Rovers.
  • Agilent innovations enable DNA microarrays to more precisely and comprehensively identify and locate genetic alterations that contribute to cancer and developmental disorders, creating new applications in research and diagnostics.
  • Agilent acquires Silicon Genetics, a leading provider of software solutions for life science discovery. The addition of Silicon Genetics' genomics data analysis and management tools positions Agilent to become a market leader in life science informatics.
  • Net Revenue: $7.2 billion; Employees: 28,000.


  • William P. (Bill) Sullivan is named Agilent President and CEO succeeding Edward W. (Ned) Barnholt.
  • Agilent forms joint venture, Chengdu Instruments Division, to develop and manufacture test equipment for China and global market.
  • Agilent establishes Agilent Technologies China Holding Company Ltd., based in Shanghai, to consolidate its entities in China.
  • Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Silver Lake Partners acquire Agilent’s Semiconductor Products Group.
  • Net Revenue: $5.1 billion; Employees: 21,000.

Bit Error Ratio Tester (BERT)


  • Major advances in mass spectrometry instrumentation expand the breadth of application and provide significant advances in performance.
  • Yokogawa Analytical Systems becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Agilent Technologies.
  • Agilent introduces the E4898A Bit Error Ratio Tester (BERT) that is the industrys first to operate at speeds of up to 100 Gb/s.
  • Agilent introduces the MXA signal analysis platform which is the industrys fastest signal analyzer with the highest accuracy of any midrange analyzer.
  • Agilent consolidates its locations in the San Francisco Bay Area to a single 55-acre campus in Santa Clara. Originally a manufacturing site built by HP in 1968, it is now the centralized location of many functions including the company’s Corporate Headquarters and Agilent Labs.


  • Agilent enhances its position in life science research and diagnostics with the acquisition of Stratagene, a public company with a worldwide presence. Additional 2007 acquisitions include Velocity11, a life science laboratory automation and robotics company; Adaptif, focusing on optical test; Kalabie, an informatics business offering an electronic laboratory notebook; and NetworkFab, specializing in advanced signal intelligence and communications systems for the aerospace/defense market.
  • Agilent introduces the 7890A Gas Chromatograph platform. Its unique design reliably manipulates the capillary flow inside a gas chromatograph oven, thus enabling new applications and productivity gains.
  • The Agilent E6651A is introduced and becomes the worlds first integrated Mobile WiMAX test set enabling designers and manufacturers of Mobile WiMAX subscriber products to rapidly move from development to volume production -- improving the integrity and quality of WiMAX devices while reducing cost.


  • Agilent and SunPower Corporation dedicate a 1-megawatt solar tracking system at Agilent's Santa Rosa, Calif., campus. The largest solar energy generator in Sonoma County,  the system is expected to displace more than 90 million pounds of carbon dioxide over the next 30 years. This is equivalent to the emissions from approximately 7,500 cars.
  • Agilent introduces the 6230 Accurate-Mass time-of-flight liquid chromatograph/mass spectrometer (LC/MS) system, which can detect and identify compounds in amounts smaller than two trillionths of a gram, making this instrument a powerful tool for food safety, toxicology and other measurements where minute amounts of compounds must be identified.
  • Agilent introduces GeneSpring multi-omics data analysis on a single platform and the industry’s first 50GHz spectrum analyzer.
  • Agilent launches the PNA-X Measurement Receiver -- the industry's fastest receiver for antenna test applications. This receiver sets a new industry standard with a 30-percent faster data-acquisition speed than any other antenna receiver on the market (400,000 data points per second simultaneously on each of the five receiver channels).
  • Agilent introduces the PXB MIMO Receiver Tester for quicker, more accurate test of Multiple-Input-Multiple-Output (MIMO) receivers earlier in the design cycle. It provide the best simulation of real-world conditions available on the market and significantly reduces development cycle time.


  • Life Sciences and Chemical Analysis (LSCA) separate into the Chemical Analysis Group and Life Sciences Group. Agilent now is comprised of three business groups -- Life Sciences (LSG), Chemical Analysis (CAG) and Electronic Measurement (EMG).
  • Agilent introduces the industry's first microwave signal generator that breaks the one-watt output power barrier, the PSG E8257D. The ultrahigh output of this instrument eliminates the need for supplementary hardware such as amplifiers, couplers and detectors.
  • Agilent launches the N4391A, the industry's first optical modulation analyzer that addresses the test and measurement gap for analysis of amplitude- and phase-modulated optical signals for 40/100G single wavelength transmission market.
  • Agilent introduces an inline error injection tool (Jammer) for PCI Express(r) (PCIe) protocol testing. This breakthrough concept for PCIe testing is the only tool of this type in the industry and allows developers to shorten test cycles and improve time to market of their device.
  • The Agilent 1290 Infinity Liquid Chromatography System enables faster performance with the industry's largest analytical power range to date. This is the industry's most powerful, sensitive and flexible liquid chromatography system.
  • Agilent's Direct Drive Robot (DDR) wins an Association for Laboratory Automation best new product award. The Direct Drive Robot’s unique automation technology and software advances drug discovery research and genomics applications.
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