History of Contribution - Agilent Research Laboratories

Timeline of Success

Throughout its history, Agilent Research Laboratories and its predecessor, HP Labs, have had a heritage of inventing a long and broad line of successful new technologies. Many of these innovations have been the starting points for major businesses.

The following are some of the technical and commercialization milestones that mark the accomplishments of Agilent Research Laboratories. As of August 2014, Agilent's electronic measurement Labs joined Keysight Technologies and are no longer included in this timeline.

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  • Agilent sells CRISPR single guide RNAs manufactured with its proprietary, best-in-class RNA synthesis chemistry, incorporating inventive performance enhancements.
  • Agilent incorporates the CRISPR guide RNAs in its customer-facing Genomics Sure Design sequence design tools.
  • Agilent introduces the 7250 GC-QTOF system based on the Sigma 10 acquisition system, which delivers twice the mass resolution with wide dynamic range, expanding customers' exploration of unknown chemical samples.
  • Agilent introduces transformative control software for its QTOF mass spectrometers, enabling higher performing streamlined application-specific workflow solutions.
  • Just one year later, Agilent releases iterative mass spectrometry for biopharmaceutical impurity analysis as the first enabled application.
  • Agilent releases the Intuvo GC, incorporating Flow Chip technology, which enables the quick and easy replacement of consumable parts, abolishing tedious column trimming and associated downtime.
  • Agilent introduces its metabolomics flux analysis software, which transforms the customer experience by enabling orders of magnitude, faster time to answers and informative visualization.


  • With the launch of Keysight Technologies, the Measurement Research Laboratory (MRL) of Agilent's Electronic Measurement's group becomes Keysight Laboratories.
  • Agilent extends Gas Chromatograph performance through Inert Flow Path (IFP) components which ensure a reliably inert flow path for higher sensitivity, accuracy, and reproducibility, particularly for trace analysis. The Inert Flow Path greatly helps with pesticide work. Peak shapes are sharper and method meets quality control checks longer. From inlet to detection, IFP solutions ensure that only inert surfaces come into contact with samples.
  • Agilent introduces DynaFET, a breakthrough device model for nonlinear microwave device simulation in the Advanced Design System (ADS) environment.
  • Agilent introduces the world's first 40 GSa/s 10-bit analog-to-digital converter in the MSO-S Series oscilloscopes. This new data converter delivers industry leading signal fidelity, enabling researchers to examine signals with less uncertainty and improved dynamic range.


  • Agilent LC-MS business introduces Ion Mobility Quadrupole Time-of-Flight system for identification of closely related molecules, utilizing visualization SW developed at Agilent Labs.
  • Public release of ENViz Cytoscape app integrating statistical analysis of omics data with pathway representations.
  • Agilent introduces Bounded Uncorrelated Jitter (BUJ) measurement into the popular EZJIT Plus- jitter analysis software which runs on Agilent's real-time oscilloscopes. This new capability enables engineers to separate and measure crosstalk from other factors that degrade high-speed SerDes performance.
  • Agilent introduces multi-platform mobile device applications enabling remote/mobile collaborative instrument control and interaction based on Labs' technology.


  • Agilent secures patent for market-leading CGH assays with U.S. patent No. 8,232,055 which has claims for measuring copy number changes in genomic DNA, covering both one-color and two-color assays using oligonucleotide probes and samples with high-sequence complexity, such as human genomic DNA samples.
  • Agilent introduces Gene-Expression microarrays for measuring coding and non-coding RNAs together, the only product available with an array of probes designed using the Broad Institute's recently published human reference catalog of large intergenic noncoding RNAs which are important regulators of gene expression, playing a role in embryonic development and other cellular and disease processes.
  • Agilent SureFISH probes, the next generation of fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) assays, deliver a comprehensive menu of the industry's highest resolution probes for a wide range of molecular analysis applications.
  • Agilent extends chip-LC portfolio with introduction of mAb-glyco Chip Workflow Extension, enabling significant performance improvement and faster, easier glycan analysis compared to previously existing methodologies.
  • Agilent introduces the N4392A optical modulation analyzer geared for manufacturing test of advanced modulation signals used in optical internet transmission.
  • Agilent added four 1-GHz models to its award-winning line of InfiniiVision 3000 X-Series oscilloscopes to address the growing need for higher-bandwidth bench scopes. The new 1-GHz models incorporate proprietary data converters, and are offered at prices starting at what other leading manufacturers charge for models with half the bandwidth.


  • Agilent introduces Command Expert software enabling fast and easy PC instrument control supporting the Microsoft Excel and Visual Studio, Agilent SystemVue, National Instruments LabVIEW, and Agilent VEE environments. The many features of Command Expert, including language translation, instrument substitution analysis, documentation lookup and command trialing and sequencing dramatically increase test system programmer productivity.
  • Agilent introduces Wireless Link Analyzer, based on Labs' technology, enabling seamless LTE signal correlation between the RF and protocol layers.
  • Agilent introduces the first commercially available capacitance calibration standard for an atomic force microscope. The specifications allow quantitative assessment of material and device properties via the company's award-winning Scanning Microwave Microscopy Mode. Agilent researchers collaborated with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST Boulder Laboratories) to establish the new standard.
  • The Agilent 6550 iFunnel quadrupole time-of-flight liquid chromatography mass spectrometry system characterizes complex samples. It enables low femtogram-level sensitivity with high resolution and accurate-mass for pharmaceutical, metabolite ID, discovery proteomics, metabolomics, food safety, forensics, toxicology, and environmental screening applications.
  • Agilent introduced the world's first Gas Chromatography – Quadrupole Time-of-Flight (GC-QTOF) for the highest sensitivity detection and analysis of unknown molecules in complex gas phase mixtures.
  • Agilent introduces CGH + SNP microarrays for cancer addressing the growing need of researchers to detect both copy number and copy-neutral aberrations in the same experiment.
  • GeneSpring 12.0+/pathway analysis software suites makes possible truly integrated, pathway-level analysis of primary data from any of our omics platforms, while also enabling incorporation of prior knowledge ― existing datasets, pathway maps, and interaction maps―for greater analytical power in multi-omics experiments.
  • The exceptional performance of the M8190A arbitrary waveform generator is made possible by a 14-bit, 7.2 GSa/s digital-to-analog converter designed by Labs.
  • Enhanced methods for real-time radio frequency emitter geo-location use a network of Agilent N6841A RF Sensors. The network interface allows the sensors to be distributed within a building, throughout a city or across the world.
  • Agilent expanded its mixed-signal and digital-storage oscilloscope portfolio with 26 new models; the next-generation InfiniiVision 2000 and 3000 X-Series scopes incorporate proprietary data converters and breakthrough technology that allow advanced capabilities to be included in affordable instruments.
  • Agilent was awarded a U.S. patent for the process used in on-array capture of genomic elements for downstream analysis, including next-generation sequencing. The SureSelect Target Enrichment System streamlines workflows by letting researchers sequence just the genomic regions of interest rather than entire genomes.


  • Agilent expands CGH array platform for cytogenetic research to include probes for detecting both copy number and copy-neutral changes in the same experiment for samples from individuals with developmental disorders.
  • Recognizing the need to detect analytes at ultratrace levels, Agilent developed the 6490 triple quadrupole liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry system with iFunnel technology.  This compact benchtop system is designed for the most challenging quantitative analyses in pharmaceutical, clinical, toxicology, and environmental applications.
  • The mAb-Glyco-Chip, a new HPLC-chip, offers dramatic productivity improvements for N-glycan analysis in the biopharmaceutical market.
  • The Agilent 90000 X-Series oscilloscopes, the world's fastest real-time oscilloscopes, deliver the industry's highest real-time scope measurement accuracy, the only 30-GHz oscilloscope probing system, and the most complete application-specific measurement software.
  • Agilent Fish Species Identification system speeds and simplifies the use of DNA to identify fish species in food products for routine verification of seafood labeling and detecting species substitutions.
  • Agilent 5975T Low Thermal Mass Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry Detector (GC/MSD) is the industry's first commercial transportable GC/MS system that delivers laboratory-quality analysis.



  • The Agilent 6430 triple quadrupole liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry system, the next generation of the popular 6410 instrument, delivers higher sensitivity, faster monitoring of ions and faster polarity switching. It is well suited for food testing, water analysis and protein biomarker discovery and validation.
  • Agilent MXG Signal Generator is the first certified LXI 1.3 Class B instrument to enable distributed, time-synchronized measurements.
  • Agilent 1200 Series HPLC-Chip II, the second generation of the pioneering high-performance nano liquid chromatography/electrospray system for mass spectrometry, provides greater than two times the life of the original HPLC-Chip.
  • Agilent SureSelect Target Enrichment System streamlines DNA-sequencing research by enabling scientists to sequence only genomic areas of interest with next-generation sequencing instrumentation.
  • Agilent N4391A optical modulation analyzer is the industry's first time-domain based optical modulation analyzer offering in-depth analysis of amplitude and phase-modulated optical signals.
  • Agilent N6841A RF Sensor is a cost-effective digital receiver for radio frequency signal monitoring software. Multiple receivers combine to form RF sensor networks to improve detection, monitoring and geolocation of emitters in commercial, radio regulatory, security and defense applications.
  • Agilent N6854A Geolocation server software for radio frequency (RF) emitter geolocation uses a network of Agilent N6841A RF Sensors. It estimates position of a non-cooperative intermittent or short-duration RF signal using measurements from the sensor network and calculations with time-difference-of-arrival (TDOA) techniques.
  • The Measurement Research Laboratory, one of the Agilent Research Laboratories, becomes part of the Technology Leadership Organization in Agilent's Electronic Measurements Group.
  • Agilent Laboratories demonstrates configurable embedded measurement capabilities built into Gigabit Ethernet small form factor pluggables (SFPs) which could enable network service providers to deploy low cost large scale distributed measurement systems.


  • Agilent N5106A PXB Multiple-Input-Multiple-Output (MIMO) Receiver Tester is the first instrument designed for MIMO.
  • Agilent 7010 particle size spectrophotometer enables reliable results in 5 seconds for particle sizes from 5 nanometers to 15 microns.
  • Agilent Infiniium 90000A oscilloscopes break the one-billion acquisition samples (1Gpt) memory barrier.
  • Agilent Scanning Microwave Microscope combines Agilent's atomic force microscopes and performance network analyzer for electromagnetic measurements at the nanoscale.


  • Agilent 6220 Accurate-Mass time-of-flight and 6520 Accurate-Mass quadrupole time-of-flight liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry systems leverage data conversion technology developed for oscilloscopes.
  • Agilent E5818A, the world's first LXI Class-B triggering device, enables precise synchronization of LXI and GPIB instruments anywhere on the network.
  • Agilent Medalist x6000 Automated X-ray Inspection system speeds detection of defects in printed circuit board assemblies.
  • Agilent expands probe content for CGH microarrays to enable detection of CNVs (Copy Number Variations) throughout the genome including regions of copy number variation amongst normal populations.
  • Innovative chemistry and probe design for Agilent's microarray-based assay enable microRNA (miRNA) expression profiling


  • Agilent Laboratories wins Duke's Choice award from Sun Microsystems for "OurTraffic", one of the earliest systems to make use of cell phones to collect and distribute live road traffic information. This application was based on the Java Distributed Data Acquisition and Control System, Open Source software developed by Agilent Labs.
  • Agilent develops a series of integrated circuits for 10 Gb/s serial links incorporating technology for electronic dispersion control and skin loss compensation for use in fiber optic and coaxial cable links.


  • Agilent Literature Search Software is a meta-search tool for automatically querying multiple text-based search engines, aiding biologists faced with manually searching and extracting associations among genes/proteins.
  • Agilent Array CGH, array-based comparative genomic hybridization, is a molecular technology breakthrough that uses microarrays to identify multiple and missing pieces of chromosomes in cancer cells compared with normal cells.
  • Agilent HPLC-chip/MS combines high-performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry to advance the study of small and large molecules.
  • IEEE 1588 is a key part of the LXI standard, which defines small, modular instruments using low-cost, open-standard Ethernet as the system backbone.


  • Agilent develops a novel optical tracking engine with 20X increase in tracking performance over existing mouse technologies. The new mouse, based on a vertical cavity surface emitting laser, allows tracking on surfaces previously not possible with LED-based optical mouse. It sees widespread deployment in a new generation mice commercialized by Logitech.
  • A 15-bit 1.2 GSa/s digital-to-analog convertor (DAC) increases test performance for advanced defense system development.
  • Microcap technology enables the industry's smallest RF filters for cellular telephones.
  • LC Chip-MS polymer microfluidic device introduced for protein analysis, utilizing proprietary laser ablation technology. The chip's first application on chip automatically digests the protein, separates the peptides on an embedded LC column, and injects the sample into as electrospray mass spectrometer.
  • World's first-in-production antimonide-based indium phosphide transistor is demonstrated.


  • Agilent introduces DNA microarray scanner platform including image processing software enabling breakthrough automated quantitative analysis and quality control for high density microarrays.
  • World's first 20 GSa/s 8-bit analog to digital converter for Agilent's high-performance Infiniium oscilloscopes.
  • Synapsia Informatics software helps researchers from different scientific disciplines integrate diverse collections of experimental results and analytical information from internal and external sources.
  • Industry's first solid shape modeling for optical inspection


  • Terahertz-bandwidth optical sampling oscilloscope demonstrated in Labs.
  • First optical coherent fiberoptic network analyzer introduced, the 81910A allows detailed characterization of amplitude and dispersive properties of components used in optical communications.
  • Labs pioneers technique of massively parallel CMOS analog-to-digital converters, designing a 4 GSa/s, 8-b converter in 0.35um CMOS.
  • Labs researchers develop one of the world's first 10 Gb/s CMOS serial link transceivers in 0.13 um CMOS technology.


  • First high-resolution spectrometer, the Agilent 83453A, offers 1,000 times better resolution than conventional grating-based optical spectrum analyzers (OSAs) for measurement of dense wavelength division multiplexed optical communications.


  • e-PHEMT power amplifiers for next-generation cell phones high-capacity parallel-optic links for breaking central-office bottlenecks.
  • High-capacity parallel-optic links developed for breaking central-office bottlenecks.
  • Film bulk acoustic resonator filter technology for reducing the size of cellular devices is demonstrated.
  • Photonic Switching Platform, which uses inkjet technology to allow switching to occur between two fiber-optic cables.



  • Agilent Laboratories is spun off from HP Laboratories.
  • Microdisplay engine for digital cameras.
  • High-resolution complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensors for digital cameras.
  • First all solid-state mouse for computer control.
  • World's smallest Web server for remote measurement and control.
  • World's smallest duplexer for cellular telephones (micromachined technology).
  • Demonstrated world's smallest SVGA eyeglass display.


  • Operating room gas monitor for anesthesia.
  • Blue/green light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
  • First all-solid-state red traffic signal based on Agilent red LEDs.
  • Time-of-flight for process gas monitoring.


  • Gene-array product for DNA analysis
  • Paperclip – neural networks for handwriting recognition.
  • First vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers for gigabit-Ethernet transceivers.
  • HP's first fiber-optic thickness monitor.
  • Nonlinear device-simulation techniques.


  • High-speed parallel-optical links for 10 Gb/sec data communications demonstrated.
  • GaAs HBT integrated-circuit (IC) process for microwave instrumentation.
  • Fault detective for printed circuit boards.


  • Client-server architecture for measurement systems.
  • Portable monitor for detecting life-threatening heart arrhythmias.
  • HP's first optical-amplifier tester.
  • Manufacturing test consulting (based on HP Laboratories' Tetris model for manufacturing cost).


  • Capillary-electrophoresis instrument for the rapid separation and detection of proteins.
  • World's brightest amber LED.
  • acceSS7 product for monitoring telecomunications networks.
  • HP's first optical multiwavelength meter.


  • Electromagnetic-compatibility test system.
  • Modulation domain analyzer (based on picosecond time digitizer IC).
  • PC-based power supply test system.


  • ORCA – optimized robot for chemical analysis.
  • HP's first light-wave polarization analyzer.
  • 1 Gb/sec serial communications ICs introduced ("G-link").
  • Gigabit link chips introduced.


  • New cesium atomic clock – best commercial clock by an order of magnitude.
  • HP's first precision optical reflectometers.
  • HP's first tunable light-wave source.



  • HP's first optical component analyzers


  • Agile synthesizers using surface acoustic wave (SAW) brickwall filters
  • Gallium-arsenide MODFET IC processes for microwave instrumentation and wireless
  • HP's first light-wave signal analyzer using high-speed photodetectors


  • High-brightness red/yellow LEDs
  • World's first 1-gigasample/sec analog-to-digital converter (used in digitizing oscilloscope)
  • First optical time-domain reflectometer (OTDR) using correlation signal processing


  • First low-loss SAW filters for microwave spectrum analyzers


  • First GaAs IC (an RF amplifier) shipped in an instrument


  • First surface-acoustic wave (SAW) resonators for microwave sweepers


  • RFIC GaAs IC process put into production


  • First 64-channel ultrasound product for imaging human heart in real-time
  • Sensor for the continuous measurement of blood pressure



  • Fused silica capillary columns for gas chromatography revolutionize chemical analysis
  • New diode array detector for chemical analysis provides rapid optical method for chemical analysis


  • First artificial-intelligence (AI) program for interpreting electrocardiograms


  • First digitally controlled oscilloscope


  • Laser interferometers – precision length-measurement from microns to kilometers


  • Quadrupole mass spectrometer for chemical analysis
  • Quartz-crystal devices for frequency control, and temperature and pressure measurement



  • HP cesium-beam atomic clocks set the world's time standards, coordinating international time to within a millionth of a second.


  • First light-emitting diode (LED) for alphanumeric displays such as indicator lights and traffic signals
  • HP Laboratories created