Keysight Labs Historical Contribution

Timeline of Success

Throughout its history, Keysight Laboratories and its predecessors, HP Labs and Agilent 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 what is now Keysight Laboratories.



  • With the launch of Keysight Technologies, the Measurement Research Laboratory (MRL) of Agilent's Electronic Measurement's group becomes Keysight Laboratories.
  • 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 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 introduces the N4392A optical modulation analyzer geared for manufacturing test of advanced modulation signals used in optical internet transmission.
  • Agilent adds 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 exceptional performance of the M8190A arbitrary waveform generator is made possible by a14-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.


  • 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 MXG Signal Generator is the first certified LXI 1.3 Class B instrument to enable distributed, time-synchronized measurements.
  • 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 geo-location of emitters in commercial, radio regulatory, security and defense applications.
  • Agilent N6854A Geo-location server software for radio frequency (RF) emitter geo-location 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 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 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.


  • IEEE 1588, based on technology developed in Agilent Labs, 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 converter (DAC) increases test performance for advanced defense system development.
  • World's first-in-production antimonide-based indium phosphide transistor is demonstrated


  • World's first 20 GSa/s 8-bit analog to digital converter for Agilent's high-performance Infiniium oscilloscopes
  • 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 0.35 m CMOS.
  • Labs researchers develop one of the world's first 10 Gb/s CMOS serial link transceivers in 0.13 m 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 demonstrated
  • 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, is demonstrated


  • Agilent Laboratories is spun off from HP Laboratories as Agilent Technologies is formed from part of Hewlett-Packard
  • Microdisplay engine for digital cameras
  • High-resolution complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensors for digital cameras
  • First all solid-state optical mouse for computer control
  • World's smallest Web server for remote measurement and control
  • World's smallest duplexer for cellular telephones (micro-machined technology)
  • Demonstrated world's smallest XVGA eyeglass display


  • Blue/green light-emitting diodes (LEDs)
  • First all-solid-state red traffic signal based on Agilent red LEDs
  • Integrated optical navigation IC enables handheld scanner


  • 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
  • HP's first optical-amplifier tester characterizes erbium-doped fiber amplifier gain and noise figure.
  • First demonstration of diode laser pumped Pr3+/Yb3+ rare-earth doped ZBLAN fiber upconversion lasers operating at the red, orange, green and blue wavelengths.
  • Manufacturing test consulting (based on HP Laboratories' Tetris model for manufacturing cost)


  • World's brightest amber LED
  • acceSS7 product for monitoring telecommunications networks
  • HP's first optical multi-wavelength meter


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


  • 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
  • Fiber optic interferometer allowing measurement of laser linewidth and high resolution optical spectra measurement.


  • 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 digitally controlled oscilloscope


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


  • 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
  • Hewlett-Packard Laboratories created