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Agilent in Communications and Electronics

Agilent is revolutionizing the way people live and work through technology. Think of CD players, computers, satellites, high-speed networks and the Internet. Agilent provides innovative test and measurement technologies and semiconductor components that enable our customers to create products like these. Our communications and electronics products, services and support solutions facilitate the entire product life cycle—design, build, manufacture, test, install, maintain and manage. During the severe business downturn in 2001, we focused even more on customers' urgent needs to reduce costs, increase efficiency and get to market quickly. As just one example of our contributions in communications and electronics, Agilent enables a wireless phone call through every step of a very complicated process.
Agilent's miniature film bulk acoustic resonator (FBAR) duplexer (in front) is one-fifth the size of a traditional ceramic duplexer (middle of photo) used in mobile phones and other wireless communications devices.
Equipment manufacturers developing very high speed routers choose Agilent's parallel optics modules to ease congestion at switching points in a communications network.


Agilent drove the XENPAK optical standard and introduced the industry's first 10 Gb/s Ethernet transceiver based on this standard. A transceiver is a combination transmitter/receiver in a single package.

At a height of nearly 4,000 meters, Annette admires the mountain vistas before heading down her final ski run for the day in Zermatt, Switzerland. To share this experience, she pulls her mobile phone out of her pocket to dial her friend Patricia, who is just starting her day at work in Santa Rosa, California.

Helping Engineers Quickly Design Phones and Neworks

When R&D engineers plan phones like Annette's, they use tools such as the Agilent Advanced Design System. This computer-aided design software enables engineers to simulate the high-frequency wireless components of the phone, verify the design and link it to Agilent test equipment.

Agilent develops technology to drive smaller, more efficient mobile phones and makes a wide range of components for them. For example, the miniature FBAR duplexer allows simultaneous transmission and reception of calls. Agilent's FBAR duplexer won EDN magazine's Innovation Award and Wireless Design & Development magazine's Technology Award. Another technology, called E-pHEMT, will improve mobile phone battery life by up to 15 percent. Both of these technologies were initially developed by our central research facility, Agilent Laboratories.

When Annette dials her call, she taps into a complex wireless network that transmits it.

Agilent works with equipment manufacturers to plan, design, simulate and test all the parts of the network infrastructure that carry a mobile phone call. In 2001 Agilent introduced the industry's first automatic solution to help wireless network equipment manufacturers and service providers quickly plan and design networks using all major wireless technologies. This tool simplifies the intricate task of cell planning and network design while minimizing infrastructure costs.


As Annette makes her call, her voice travels through the air over radio signals to connect to a base station, which is essentially a larger radio that transmits to and receives signals from her phone.

Designers of base stations depend on products such as Agilent's new spectrum analyzers, awarded Top Product of the Year by Microwaves & RF magazine. These verify that the signals meet regulatory standards for crispness and clarity, a task becoming increasingly complex with high-speed networks.

The base station connects Annette's call to the wired network through a fiber optic cable to the telecom service provider's central office. Then her call travels in digital packets over a long haul optical network across France, under the Atlantic Ocean and across the United States.

The Versatest Series Model V4400 offers manufacturers of flash memory for wireless devices a choice of performance on a single test platform that can grow with their needs.
The 5DX automated x-ray inspection system tests the very large and densely packed printed circuit boards for base stations. Agilent leads the imaging test system market with more than 25 percent share.

To speed Annette's message to its destination, high-speed routers receive, process and forward billions of bits per second in a dynamic environment where thousands of new destinations are added, deleted or changed each second. Agilent provides critical components for these routers. We're the world's leading supplier of fiber optic transceivers that transform electrical data streams into light, and vice versa. These transceivers can send optical data streams many kilometers to the next node on the network. Agilent also provides a range of integrated circuit (IC) solutions that format and process data in the electrical area inside the router. Because Agilent is one of few companies with cutting-edge technology in both the optical and IC realms, we offer network equipment manufacturers highly integrated solutions that speed time to market.

The Agilent RouterTester Optical Test Solution is the industry's leading system for testing high-speed, optical routing control functions. It simulates real-world network conditions to verify performance of high-speed routers and optical switches under demanding conditions with speeds varying from billions to trillions of bits per second. The International Engineering Consortium awarded RouterTester an InfoVision Award for innovation.

Helping Manufacturers Save Time and Money

Agilent provides test solutions for the entire manufacturing process—from testing wafers that contain thousands of tiny ICs, to final test of each IC, to testing and inspecting printed circuit (PC) boards, to assembly into mobile phones and base stations. As the world leader in test solutions, we test everything except the plastic case and display.

The Agilent 93000 system-on-a-chip platform enables customers to add test capabilities easily to their existing systems. This platform offers the widest application coverage and range of performance of any test family offered today.
Agilent's 40 Gb/s Parallel Bit Error Ratio Test (ParBERT) platform enables R&D engineers to simulate and analyze real-world conditions of very high data rates for next-generation communication transmission lines.

Agilent lowers cost of test for manufacturing customers by creating product families that offer a wide range of test capability. For example, our 93000 platform tests complex ICs that combine multiple functions on a single chip, known as system-on-a-chip (SOC). To meet new test challenges, customers can add test capabilities easily to existing 93000 systems. An industry-first addition helps customers save test time—up to 50 percent—and money by testing multiple functional blocks of an SOC simultaneously. Another example of cost-effective manufacturing test is our V4400 flash memory test system. Because mobile phone features such as voice recognition and Internet access require ever larger amounts of flash memory, manufacturers need to test increasingly diverse IC memory devices. The V4400 allows customers to change capabilities to match their testing needs without any downtime.

PC boards in mobile phones and base stations require different approaches to testing. Boards in mobile phones are too small and densely packed with tiny components to inspect visually, so Agilent provides market-leading automated optical inspec- tion (AOI) systems. The SJ50, Agilent's newest AOI system, inspects PC boards at speeds up to 20 percent faster than the previous generation. Boards for base stations are so large and complex that they often have thousands of connections, with many hidden from view. Agilent's x-ray inspection, the 5DX Series 3, sees through obstacles and provides the highest proven levels of test coverage for complex boards.

Manufacturers also have to test tiny handset components to see if they work together correctly when transmitting and receiving radio frequency (RF) signals. These customers helped us define the capabilities for our latest series of high-performance RF network analyzers, which also won a Microwaves & RF magazine Top Product award. These enable manufacturers to increase their measurement output by more than 300 percent compared to competing instruments. This increase is another way we help customers lower cost of test and increase manufacturing competitiveness.

Helping Communication Providers Cut Costs and Deliver New Services Quickly

As Annette's call travels over different networks, service providers rely on new testers and network management systems to ensure that the call is completed correctly.

Telecommunication service providers plan, build, install, maintain and manage the networks and services that carry wireline and wireless voice calls as well as the rapidly growing volume of Internet traffic. After we help customers deploy all parts of the network quickly and efficiently, we provide tools to add new capacity and tune the network to provide the right amount of coverage.

As service providers install next-generation networks, they need to keep test costs low and contend with a shortage of skilled technicians. That's why demand is very strong for Agilent's industry-first, all-channel 10 Gb/s and 2.5 Gb/s testers that can simultaneously monitor up to 192 network paths. These rugged, portable testers allow network equipment manufacturers and service providers to complete their installation and maintenance tests more quickly and cost effectively.

Helping Manage Networks to Lower Costs and Grow Revenue

Annette's call takes a complicated route over thousands of miles to reach Patricia in a matter of seconds.

Agilent's rugged, portable 10 Gb/s and 2.5 Gb/s testers allow service providers and network equipment manufacturers to dramatically reduce installation and maintenance test time and cost of test for optical transmission systems.
The Agilent 1680 and 1690 series logic analyzers make it easy for digital designers to examine relationships of time or data on an integrated circuit.
Agilent's high-performance spectrum analyzers streamline design and testing of wireless base station components and systems. Designers can analyze any RF signal environment in minute detail to evaluate component or system performance.
Agilent's new 83453A high-resolution spectrometer provides 1,000 times better resolution than conventional instruments. Now designers can measure precise characteristics of laser spectra for next-generation networks.
The Agilent Photonic Foundation Library software allows optical component manufacturers to reduce test costs substantially by speeding up the design and implementation of test solutions.

Even before the call takes place, Annette's service provider uses our management solutions to ensure that all of the complex configurations are in place so she can make phone calls when she is traveling in different countries. As the call travels over the network, the service providers monitor and manage the complex flow of information required to set up the call quickly and with the highest quality. Managing is becoming more complicated because of complex services as well as multiple standards and protocols that have to work together. Service providers typically use separate operations support system (OSS) software applications for each service and standard.

We're making that job easier. Service providers can integrate these separate applications with a single management framework offered by Agilent and its expanded OSS team based on the acquisition of Objective Systems Integrators (OSI). Now communication service providers can more easily manage complex, multi-vendor networks and services, bring new services to market quickly, and protect and increase their revenue.

The Agilent NgN Analysis System is the telecommunications industry's first network monitoring and OSS solution that gives a complete view of signaling across the public switched telephone networks (PSTN) and voice-over-packet (VoP) networks. This system, which received a Best of Show award at the Internet Telephony Conference and Expo, enables service providers to accelerate rollout of new services and increase customer satisfaction.

Annette's mobile phone call has gone from her wireless handset, to a base station, to a wired and/or optical network, through switches and routers, and on to Patricia.

"Hi, Patricia, this is Annette. Thanks to your help planning my trip, I'm looking out at the majestic Matterhorn, and the view is spectacular. Thank you, my friend."


Year in Review
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