Company History Timeline
Founded as Hewlett-Packard in 1939 by industry pioneers Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, Keysight Technologies today offers a portfolio that includes countless industry firsts that help our customers innovate to connect and secure the world. Today, Keysight’s story continues with the same unparalleled entrepreneurial tenacity and passion that has inspired innovators worldwide, helping them achieve the unimaginable. Discover how Keysight is helping customers drive innovation in 5G, automotive, Internet of Things, network security, and more. Learn about Keysight and what we can do for you.
Santa Rosa employees celebrate the newly launched Keysight
Believe You Can Change the World
From the very beginning as human beings, we’ve believed in firsts. It’s the same belief that created light in the dead of night, and that proved man could indeed soar. It’s the driving force behind groundbreaking industry firsts, from 1939 when Hewlett-Packard was founded, to present day Keysight Technologies.
Fast Friends: Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard
Following graduation from Stanford University in 1934, electrical engineers Dave Packard and Bill Hewlett went on a two-week camping and fishing trip in the Colorado mountains. On this trip, they discovered a shared passion for innovation, and soon became close friends. Bill went on to pursue graduate studies at Stanford University and MIT, while Dave took a job with General Electric in New York State. Within a few years, and with the encouragement of Stanford professor and mentor, Fred Terman, they both found themselves back in California’s Santa Clara Valley. Bill and Dave decided to start a business and "make a run for it," working out of a garage.
The One-Car Garage and "Birthplace of Silicon Valley"
The one-car garage behind 367 Addison Avenue in Palo Alto, California, doubled as a workshop for co-founders Bill and Dave. It is in this iconic garage where Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard innovated and manufactured what would become the company's first product, the 200A Audio Oscillator. The garage holds such historic value that the location is recognized as the “Birthplace of Silicon Valley."
Birthplace of Silicon Valley
- Bill Hewlett, Dave Packard, and Noel "Ed" Porter begin developing their plans for an electronic measurement company that would later become Hewlett-Packard (HP), and that is today called Keysight Technologies
- Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard begin part-time work in the garage with $538 in working capital
- Bill Hewlett's study of negative feedback results in Hewlett-Packard's first product, the resistance-capacity audio oscillator (200A), an electronic instrument used to test sound equipment. The oscillator uses an incandescent bulb as part of its wiring scheme to provide variable resistance, a breakthrough in stability in oscillator design. The principle of feedback provides the foundation for other early HP products such as a harmonic wave analyzer and several distortion analyzers.
- Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard form a partnership January 1, 1939, and the Hewlett-Packard company is born
- Walt Disney Studios orders eight audio oscillators to test and control sound equipment that will enable the groundbreaking multi-channel surround-sound system for the movie "Fantasia"
200A Audio Oscillator
Test and measurement products win widespread acceptance among engineers and scientists. The start of World War II turns a trickle of U.S. government orders for electronic instruments into a stream and then a flood. This increase in production requires Hewlett-Packard (HP) to leave the garage for larger facilities. By 1942, HP operations move to the first company-owned building located at 395 Page Mill Road, distinctively known as the Redwood Building.
- Production moves from the garage to a rented building at Page Mill Road and El Camino Real in Palo Alto
- The company gives its first bonus to employees: a $5 Christmas bonus
- Wright Field, now Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, issues the first government contract to HP for six 205 signal generators
- Construction begins for the first company-owned building, a 10,000-square foot office/laboratory/factory (Redwood Building) at 395 Page Mill Road, Palo Alto. Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard designed it as an open system without interior walls, so space could be flexible.
- Dave Packard designs a voltmeter that gives unprecedented reliability at a lower price than the competition
- HP enters the microwave field with the Model A signal generator (developed for the Naval Research Laboratory) and a radar-jamming device. A complete line of microwave test products follows, and the company becomes the acknowledged leader in signal generators.
- The 610A UHF signal generator is introduced, covering 500 to 1350 Mc (note: “Megacycles” is the older name for the unit before Hertz was adopted in 1960) and is the company's first commercially available microwave product
Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard develop the company's corporate objectives, the basis of its management philosophy dubbed “The HP Way." The company also embarks upon a path toward globalization by establishing a facility in Böblingen, Germany.
- Major advances in microwave instrumentation lead to more comprehensive test results and greater accuracy
- The new 524A high-speed frequency counter dramatically reduces the time required to measure high frequencies. Test times are reduced from approximately 10 minutes, to one or two seconds. The product is a huge success, and is used for measuring everything from transmitter frequencies, to the accelerometers on which ballistic missile guidance systems were based.
- HP introduces their first public stock offering: November 6, 1957
- Corporate objectives are written to serve as basis for the HP Way, a management style that Keysight builds upon with its focus on customer insight, high-performance, and value creation
- HP establishes international presence with its first manufacturing plant in Böblingen, West Germany
524A Frequency Counter
The test and measurement field continues its steady growth. The company branches out into related fields, such as medical electronics and analytical instrumentation, ending the period of HP as a pure-play electronic measurement company. It also begins to be noticed as a progressive, well-managed company, and a great place to work. This decade also sees the introduction of several innovative products, including the Cesium Beam "Atomic" Clock and the 8551 Spectrum Analyzer, the first product to provide the company with revenue of over 1 million dollars per month.
5060A Cesium Beam Time Standard
8551A/851A Microwave Spectrum Analyzer
- The new 185A oscilloscope is the first to use a new "sampling" technique to view the faster digital waveforms used in computer technology
- HP establishes its first U.S. manufacturing plant outside of Palo Alto, in Loveland, Colorado
- HP lists on the New York Stock Exchange
- HP appears for the first time on Fortune magazine's list of the top 500 U.S. companies: No. 460
- Harrison Labs is acquired, forming the New Jersey division, whose mission is to create the world's best power supplies for laboratory and industrial applications
- First joint venture is formed with Yokogawa Electric Works, creating Yokogawa Hewlett-Packard in Tokyo, Japan
- HP launches the 5100A, the first synthesizer to generate electrical signals at a precise desired frequency, making it a major contribution to automated testing. The synthesizer was later used by NASA for communication with the Apollo moon landing in 1969.
- HP celebrates its 25th anniversary
- Dave Packard is elected chairman, and Bill Hewlett is elected president of the company
- HP launches the highly accurate 5060A cesium beam atomic clock, which becomes the international time standard
- HP launches the 8551A/851A microwave spectrum analyzer, the first scientific tool to make direct reading and calibrated analysis of individual signals within a frequency band
- HP celebrates dedications of new buildings in Tokyo, New Jersey, California, and Colorado
Joint Venture with Yokogawa Electric Works
- HP Laboratories is formed. As the company's central research facility, HP Labs is one of the world's leading electronics industry research centers. Today, it is known as Keysight Laboratories.
- HP introduced the 2116A, the company's first computer designed as a controller for test and measurement instruments, and marks the company’s first use of integrated circuits. The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute used the 2116A on ships for nearly a decade to interface with laboratory instruments.
- HP introduces its first all-solid-state component oscillator. The oscillator’s small size, light weight, and large screen make it easy to use in labs, the field, and production work.
- HP pioneers the concept of flexible working
- HP engineers travel to 18 countries with the 5060A atomic clock to synchronize international time standards. Over time, the cesium beam standard is used in time-critical applications.
- Dave Packard is appointed U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense and serves from 1969 – 1971
The company continues its tradition of innovation, with many more industry firsts, including the laser interferometer. As this decade – marked by significant growth in earnings and employment – draws to a close, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard delegate day-to-day operating management of the company to John Young.
- HP introduces the automatic microwave network analyzer, which becomes an indispensable tool for the design and manufacture of microwave systems
- HP produces a laser interferometer capable of measuring to millionths of an inch. The laser interferometer remains the standard for precision measurement of the most challenging applications in semiconductor lithography, aerospace/defense, metrology, and manufacturing.
- HP enters into a purchase agreement to acquire 200 acres in Santa Rosa; the site in Northern California later becomes the headquarters of Keysight Technologies
- HP establishes operations in Penang, Malaysia, with 60 employees producing core memory stacks in a rented bungalow on Macalister Road. Operations later move to the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone, in a facility that sits on 36 acres.
- Logic analyzers become the tool of choice for engineers in the fast-growing field of digital electronics
- The electronics industry adopts the HP-IB (Interface Bus) as an international standard. The standard allows up to 14 instruments per bus to connect easily to a computer. HP-IB is later known as GP-IB.
- John Young is named president and later appointed CEO in 1978
- HP introduces the 8566/68A, the company’s first 1-Hz resolution spectrum analyzer
- The company’s first integrated microprocessor development system combines all the tools needed by hardware and software engineers
- HP introduces the 8566A microwave spectrum analyzer, which can identify low-level signals outside the range of earlier spectrum analyzers
- The HP Foundation launches with a focus on philanthropic contributions. Years later, the Agilent Foundation and Keysight Foundation debut. The company’s giving becomes an integral component of its corporate social responsibility.
Computer technology results in higher performance products at lower price points. In 1989, HP celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Frequency and Time-Interval Analyzer
Company's 50th Anniversary
- The company unveils a powerful new 32-bit integrated circuit, with four times more gates than any previous chip created up to that point
- HP’s Signal Data Network is the first to relay data fast enough to allow signal monitoring of many different hospital beds from one central station
- HP introduces the 8510A, the first computer-controlled network analyzer
- HP introduces the world's first microprocessor-based network analyzer, which enables users to make fast and convenient magnitude or phase-response measurements in near real time across previously-unheard-of frequency ranges
- HP establishes first high-tech joint venture in China
- HP introduces the 54100, the first fully digital scope manufactured by a large test and measurement company
- Bill Hewlett retires as vice chairman of the board of directors
- Walter Hewlett (son of Bill) and David Woodley Packard (son of Dave) are elected to the HP board of directors
- HP digital multimeters enable high-frequency, high-accuracy, and high-resolution voltage measurements with one instrument
- HP develops an analyzer capable of measuring terahertz transmission bandwidths for use in optical telecommunications
The pace of change accelerates with web-based information and applications becoming pervasive, competition intensifying, and time-to-market cycles greatly reduced. In 1999, Agilent Technologies is formed as the result of a spin-off of HP’s "Medical Products and Instrument Group."
- HP creates new test and measurement organization, and appoints Edward W. (Ned) Barnholt to lead it
- Working with industry leaders, the company adapts an internal solution called TML, and initiates a public release of an IEEE-approved standard for Standard Control of Programmable Instruments (SCPI) that nearly all manufacturers of computer-controlled test equipment adopt
- Acquisition of Avantek broadens components offering for the global communications market
- HP introduces the 54600/54601, which offers analog oscilloscope features combined with the accuracy and power of digital architecture
- The second HP women’s technical conference gathers women from across the company to highlight their achievements and technical contributions, as well as to promote professional development
- New atomic clock debuts and becomes the world's most precise commercially available timekeeping device
- Test set generates and detects data streams of up to 2.5 billion data bits per second, allowing telecommunications manufacturers to verify the performance of transmission equipment
- Optical spectrum analyzer contributes to the fast-growing optical communications field
- New modular oscilloscope debuts; used in the design of high-speed digital electronics products
- Lewis E. Platt is named president and CEO
- AcceSS7 network monitoring system enables telecommunications customers to monitor all the elements on SS7 networks from a central location, increasing the efficiency of communications networks
- HP lands another spot on “The 100 Best Companies to Work for in America”
- HP establishes joint venture in China with Shanghai Analytical Instrument Factory
- HP’s Broadband Series Test System emerges as an industry standard, the first to test ATM and broadband ISDN networks, and the first to integrate testing of all layers. The system helps the industry prove that these new technologies can form the basis of an information highway for transporting voice, data, image and video over the same network.
- Decades of experience in quartz technology and cesium time standards result in new network timing synchronization products. Networks function with greater accuracy and reliability, delivering new digital services for voice, data, and video communication.
- HP introduces the industry's first low-cost, high-speed small infrared transceiver, which allows wireless "point and shoot" data exchange in a wide range of portable computing applications such as phones, computers, printers, cash registers, ATMs, digital cameras and more
- HP introduces the broadband service analyzer, a new portable tool for installing broadband networks. It sets up complex tests to measure network quality with the touch of a button, and makes Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) technology more accessible.
- HP introduces the first mixed signal oscilloscope (MSO)
- Co-founder David Packard dies on March 26
- HP creates a network-timing synchronization for wired and wireless high-speed digital networks, eliminating many challenges in transmitting data or images over telephone lines
- HP introduces the first Infiniium oscilloscope
- The innovative 3070 Series 3 board test system allows manufacturers to test printed circuit boards faster and more effectively than ever before
- The 95000 HSM high-speed memory test system can be used for high-volume production testing of RDRAM chips. These chips operate at 800 MHz and offer memory-chip manufacturers the smallest footprint, lowest cost of test, and lowest-risk solution available.
- HP introduces the E6432A VXI microwave synthesizer which is ideal for automated test applications, including field tests, avionics, and communications systems
- The TestBook Wireless integrated diagnostic solution provides technicians centralized access to diagnostic and customer-service information in the service bay or field, thereby increasing productivity and decreasing repair costs
- HP announces strategic realignment to create an independent measurement company composed of test and measurement components, chemical analysis and medical businesses, and a separate computing and imaging company that includes all of HP's computing, printing, and imaging businesses
- Agilent Technologies, the name of the new measurement company, is announced at a historic brand-identity launch event in San Jose, California, by Agilent President and Chief Executive Officer, Edward W. (Ned) Barnholt
- Initial public stock offering on November 18, 1999, raises $2.1 billion and breaks records as the largest IPO in Silicon Valley history
Following its successful IPO in 1999, Agilent Technologies becomes a fully independent measurement 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
Bit Error Ratio Testing (BERT)
- On June 2, 2000, Agilent Technologies becomes a fully independent company, following HP's distribution of its Agilent shares to HP Shareholders
- Agilent’s Photonic Switching Platform accelerates the development of all-optical networks
- Agilent introduces first all-digital IF-PSA spectrum analyzer
- Co-founder Bill Hewlett dies on January 12
- Acquisition of Objective System Integrators Inc. (OSI) enables the company to provide a complete solution to service providers that offer 3G wireless, optical, broadband Internet Protocol, and voice-over-packet networks and services
- Agilent appears for the first time on Fortune magazine's list of the top 500 U.S. companies: No. 212
- President and CEO Edward W. (Ned) Barnholt named Chairman of the Board
- Agilent introduces the first microwave vector signal generator, the performance signal generator series (PSG), that allows engineers working on radar, broadband wireless, and satellite communications systems to simulate complex real-world test environments
- Agilent’s software development tools provide the interface to test communication equipment in the Mars Exploration rovers
- New logic analysis probe accelerates designs of Intel Pentium 4 processor-based products
- William P. (Bill) Sullivan named Agilent President and CEO succeeding Edward W. (Ned) Barnholt
- Agilent forms a joint venture, Chengdu Instruments Division, to develop and manufacture test equipment for China and the global market
- The company establishes Agilent Technologies China Holding Company Ltd., based in Shanghai
- Working with an industry-wide consortium, Agilent establishes an industry standard for LAN control of test equipment (LXI or LAN eXtensions for Instrumentation) that is widely adopted, reaffirming its leadership and innovation in the test and measurement industry
- Agilent launches LXI Class C compliant DC Power Supplies: N6700 and N5700 series that are optimized for automated test equipment systems. They are the first of their kind to receive LXI Class C certification by the LXI Consortium.
- Yokogawa Analytical Systems becomes a wholly owned subsidiary
- Agilent introduces the E4898A bit error ratio tester (BERT), the industry's first to operate at speeds of up to 100 Gb/s, enabling transceiver designs operating at ultra-high speeds
- Agilent introduces the MXA signal analysis platform with industry-leading measurement speeds, heralding the next generation of signal analysis
- All of the company's locations in the San Francisco Bay Area are consolidated into a single 55-acre campus in Santa Clara, California. Originally a manufacturing site built by HP in 1968, it is now the centralized location of many functions including the company's Corporate Headquarters, formerly located in Palo Alto.
- Agilent introduces the E6651A, the world's first integrated Mobile WiMAX test set, enabling designers and manufacturers of Mobile WiMAX subscriber products to rapidly move from development to volume production. This improves 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, California, campus. The largest solar energy generator in Sonoma County, the system is projected to displace more than 90 million pounds of carbon dioxide over 30 years. This is equivalent to the emissions from approximately 7,500 cars.
- Agilent launches the PNA-X Measurement Receiver, the industry's fastest receiver for antenna test applications. It sets a new industry standard with a 30 percent faster data acquisition speed than any other antenna receiver on the market.
- 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 provides the best simulation of real-world conditions available on the market, and significantly reduces development cycle time.
- Agilent introduces the FieldFox handheld RF analyzer, the world’s most integrated handheld instrument for optimal wireless network installation and maintenance
- Agilent introduces the PSG E8257D, the industry's first microwave signal generator that breaks the one watt output power barrier. The ultra-high output eliminates the need for supplemental hardware such as amplifiers, couplers and detectors.
- Agilent introduces an inline error injection tool for PCI Express® (PCIe) protocol testing. This breakthrough concept for PCIe testing is an industry first, and allows developers to shorten test cycles and improve device time-to-market.
In 2013, Agilent Technologies announces it will split into two separate pure-play measurement companies. The new electronic measurement company is named Keysight Technologies. Keysight becomes a fully separate electronic measurement company on November 1, 2014. It is listed on the New York Stock Exchange on November 3, 2014, with ticker symbol KEYS.
Welcome Lobby at Keysight Technologies Headquarters in Santa Rosa, California
- Agilent Technologies releases key enhancements to the 89600 vector signal analysis (VSA) software, a critical tool for R&D engineers, with support for the most demanding PHY layer analysis needs of the wireless communications industry. LTE, HSPA+ and GSM EDGE-Evo analysis tools allow engineers to dig deeper into signals to find and fix the causes of physical layer problems.
- Agilent Technologies introduces the first premium service-in-a-box with premium warranty for the electronic test and measurement industry
- Agilent Technologies advances X-parameters innovations and invests heavily to advance nonlinear measurements and characterization
- Acquisition of AT4 broadens the company’s leadership in wireless test solutions
- The company holds a 'Test of Time’ power supply contest, celebrating the longstanding use of its power supplies and more than 50 years of power supply expertise
- Agilent Technologies makes a $90 million gift of software to Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), the largest single academic donation given by the company
- The award-winning Infiniium 90000 X-Series oscilloscope family expands with new mixed signal oscilloscope (MSO) models that enable engineers to accurately debug and validate emerging technologies
- Agilent Technologies announces that it will split into two separate measurement companies. The new electronic measurement company is called Keysight Technologies with headquarters in Santa Rosa. Ron Nersesian is president and CEO.
Keysight UXA Signal Analyzer
Keysight UXM Wireless Test Set
- Keysight announces the UXM wireless test set, a highly integrated signaling test set for functional and RF design validation in the 4G era and beyond
- Keysight UXA signal analyzer delivers best-in-class phase noise, real-time bandwidth, and analysis bandwidth
- Keysight launches the first RF power amplifier reference solution built around the M9391A PXIe vector signal analyzer and M9381A PXIe vector signal generator
- Acquisition of Primary Standards North America (PSNA) expands multi-vendor calibration solutions
- On November 1, Keysight Technologies becomes a fully separate electronic measurement company. Keysight lists on the New York Stock Exchange under ticker symbol KEYS, completing the final phase of its separation from Agilent.
- Acquisition of Anite amplifies Keysight’s position as a supplier of wireless design and valuation tools with new solutions addressing the software layer
- Acquisition of Electro Services extends calibration offerings and services business
- Keysight announces the new X-Series signal analyzers with enhanced capabilities including a multi-touch user interface and integrated 1 GHz analysis bandwidth
- Acquisition of Signadyne introduces new FPGA-based PXI digitizers and arbitrary waveform generators, enabling complex modulation for wireless signal emulation
- Keysight opens Software Design Center in Atlanta
- Ixia acquisition accelerates expansion of software solutions and broadens reach within the communications development lifecycle throughout protocol layers 2 through 7. Keysight’s portfolio now includes end-to-end solutions for the development of next-generation technologies, including network optimization and security.
- Acquisition of Liberty Cal extends Keysight’s calibration services for EMI/EMC test equipment
- ScienLab acquisition introduces new test solutions for higher power eMobility systems in the automotive and industrial sectors
- Keysight announces ten new PXIe instruments to advance research in 5G, aerospace and defense, and quantum technologies. Instruments include arbitrary waveform generators, digitizers and oscilloscopes that provide up to 1 GHz bandwidth for complex baseband IQ signal generation and analysis.
- The company unveils new automotive Ethernet solutions to help automotive design and test engineers develop the backbone of a vehicle's communication network
- Keysight is recognized on two Forbes lists: Just Companies (No. 63) and America’s Best Employers (No. 259)
- Keysight is awarded Frost & Sullivan’s Software Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award for its comprehensive test and measurement solutions and Frost & Sullivan’s Manufacturing Leadership Award for the company’s operational excellence
- Keysight’s Business, Ixia, is awarded Frost & Sullivan’s Market Leadership Award for its innovative solutions that include Network Packet Brokers and Frost & Sullivan’s New Product Innovation Award for developing CloudStorm, a Remarkable Multi-Tb Application and Network Security Test Solution
Hope amid the 2017 Tubbs fire devastation. Keysight CEO Ron Nersesian emphasized people first.
- Keysight restores its headquarters and manufacturing operations without a single order being cancelled amid evacuations and building damage resulting from the devastating 2017 Santa Rosa Tubbs fire. CEO Ron Nersesian emphasized, “People first; response and resources second” as the company helped employees and community deal with losses. #KeysightStrong becomes the rallying hashtag that comforts, motivates and unites employees all around the globe, pulling the company and people together to overcome devastation and returns stronger, more resilient and more resourceful than ever.
- Keysight launches PathWave, an industry-first design and test software platform that accelerates workflow by connecting every step in the product development path: from design and simulation, to prototype and test, to manufacturing
- Keysight introduces industry’s first 5G New Radio (NR)-ready channel emulation solution with early adoption by five major communications customers. This comes after delivery of the first-to-market 5G millimeter-wave channel sounding solution.
- Keysight launches the Infiniium UXR-Series, a new class of ultra-performance oscilloscopes with 110 GHz of true analog bandwidth and industry-leading signal integrity, enabling and accelerating the next generation of electronic research and design
- Keysight is certified as a Great Place to Work by the leading global authority on high trust, high performance culture in the workplace. Great Place to Work® surveyed employees and 92% said they are proud to tell others they work at Keysight.
- Keysight joins the S&P 500 on November 6
- Based on its recent analysis, Frost & Sullivan recognizes Keysight with the Global Radio Frequency Test and Measurement Market Leadership Award
- Keysight is awarded Global Technology Innovation Award for its innovative breakthrough in mobile technology, specifically its Narrow Band (NB)-IoT Massive User Equipment Emulation Test System
- Keysight’s Business, Ixia, is awarded Lightwave Innovation Reviews Award for its K400 QSFP-DD-400GE load module, Cyber Defense Magazine’s InfoSec Award for its CloudLens cloud visibility platform and Cloud Computing Magazine’s Security Excellence Award for its BreakingPoint Cloud security monitoring platform
- Marie Hattar, Keysight’s first Chief Marketing Officer, is honored with the 2018 Golden Bridge’s Executive of the Year (Woman) Award, Bronze
- In 2017 and 2018, Keysight received over 20 additional industry and technology leadership awards