Innovative technology is a competitive advantage
for Agilent, and our central research organization, Agilent Laboratories,
provides the spark for our company growth. Technology innovations
from Agilent Labs create new businesses and enhance existing ones.
Agilent Labs is leading the company into the future of communications,
electronics and life sciences by encouraging multidisciplinary teams
of scientists to explore uncharted areas in search of advanced solutions.
find the next breakthrough, we encourage researchers to put
together different technical disciplines. This synergy often
creates a completely new way to solve a problem."
Saponas, senior vice president and chief technology officer
of Agilent, and director, Agilent Laboratories
About 60 to 70 percent of our current businesses
were enabled by Agilent Labs. Thats why Agilent
continues to invest appropriately in fundamental
research in a wide number of disciplineseven during
economic downturns. In 2001, we focused on highest
priority investments while trimming some programs
and delaying others to reduce costs. Agilent Labs
continued to tighten its links with our businesses to
enhance Agilents ability to compete more effectively
now and in the future.
Accelerating Progress in Communications and Electronics
Even though 2001 marked the largest downturn of
the communications industry in recent memory, optical component
and network equipment manufacturers continued to invest in the research
and development of new communications products to ensure a strong
market position when the market upturn arrives. In preparation for
the upswing, the scientists at Agilent Labs accelerated their pace
of inventing groundbreaking technologies to help customers design
Francis Joseph and Hugh Wallace,
researchers in the Systems and Solutions Laboratory,
are developing methods for high-volume semiconductor
test. The diagram represents a high-speed serial integrated
circuit (IC), a critical component of communication
systems. These ICs can be embedded cost effectively
into complex ICs, called systems-on-a-chip, that are
manufactured in standard semiconductor processes. Serial
interfaces are becoming pervasive in communication and
computation systems because they enable higher performance
at lower cost. Agilent invests in this research, which
builds on the company's strengths in IC design as well
as test, so future test solutions will be ready when
customers need them.
Company announcements in 2001 illustrate the role
of Agilent Labs in bringing innovative technologies to market. The
new optical spectrometer can measure wavelengths of laser spectra
with 1,000 times better resolution than conventional instruments.
Optical sampling technology will offer designers important insight
into components under development for very high-speed transmissions.
Todays optical networks operate at 10 gigabits per second
(Gb/s), but the industry is quickly moving to 40 Gb/s channels.
Agilents new technology marks the first time designers of
optical components will have an instrument that has enough bandwidth
to measure signals from 40 to 160 Gb/s.
Agilent Labs was also instrumental in helping
establish an industry standard that was key in bringing
to market the world's first serial 10 Gb/s Ethernet
transceiver. This new network component allows
manufacturers of servers, switches and routers to
provide 10 times more bandwidth at lower cost
compared to current technology.
Accelerating Progress in Life Sciences
Agilent Labs is developing tools to help biologists
collect and analyze complex research data from multiple sources
to further our understanding of cellular processes in living organisms.
Research in molecular biology is advancing rapidly because of new
sources of data, new tools and new ways to organize work. The human
genome project has created huge new data sources. Biologists using
tools like Agilent's DNA microarray systems are exploring relationships
among genes and generating trillions of bytes of data.
In addition, collaborations among industries,
and government agencies require new methods
to organize, interpret and share this information. Life
sciences research has become the work of interdisciplinary
teams that include molecular biologists,
biochemists, chemists, engineers, computer scientists,
physicists and mathematicians.
To address these challenges, Agilent Labs brought
together a multidisciplinary team of biologists, anthropologists
and computer scientists to study the tremendous changes in data,
tools and organizations that will structure work in the life sciences.
For example, as biologists study the functions of genes and proteins,
they need tools to visualize, manipulate and integrate large amounts
of information. So computer scientists have to work with biologists
to try out new forms of analysis. The most useful tools will connect
people from different disciplines so they can share perspectives
and contributions productively.
Labs is Agilent's secret weapon. It's the innovation
engine that will accelerate the company out of
poor economic conditions and generate new revenue
through superior research and development.
Darlene Solomon (seated), Steve Laderman,
Jeff Sampson and Carl Myerholtz of the Life Science Technologies
Laboratory are researching a breakthrough nanopore technology
to speed the analysis of nucleic acids, such as DNA. In 2001,
Agilent decided to license this technology from Harvard University
and invest in this longer range research and business opportunity.
Harvard was excited to collaborate with Agilent Labs because
of Labs' multidisciplinary expertise that's required to help
advance this technology. Faster, easier and lower cost sequencing
of nucleic acids would greatly expand access to genetic information
for use in drug discovery and development, and in the prediction,
diagnosis and treatment of disease.