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Agilent Technologies ( ), or Agilent, is a company which designs and manufactures instruments and equipment for measurement and evaluation. The company's headquarters are in Santa Claramarker, Californiamarker.

Many of Agilent's predecessor product lines were developed by the American computing company Hewlett-Packard, which was founded in 1939. In 1999, the product lines not directly connected with computers, storage, and imaging were grouped into a separate company (Agilent), the stock of which was offered to the public in an initial public offering. The Agilent IPO may have been the largest in the history of Silicon Valleymarker.

The company thus created in 1999 was an $8 billion company with about 47,000 employees, manufacturing scientific instruments, semiconductors, optical networking devices, and electronic test equipment for telecom and wireless R&D and production.

Product lines

Agilent's major product lines include:

  • In addition to measuring hardware, Agilent has generated and offers comprehensive chemical databases. In January 2009 it announced the availability of a pesticide database covering 1600 compounds, with accurate mass information for each. It also announced the proximite release of similar databases for toxicology and drugs of abuse such as proximite, cannabis, and caffeine.
Agilent former headquarters in Palo Alto

Research and development

Agilent Technologies has a robust research and development arm, Agilent Laboratories or Agilent Labs, with active research in numerous areas including MEMS, nanotechnology, and Life Sciences. A key factor in this division is aligning future research with the needs and strategic priorities of the businesses each lab will support.

Agilent labs is primarily a research entity, the research is divided into three primary segments:

  • Research that will lead to breakthrough and disruptive technologies and applications to grow Agilent’s existing businesses in electronic and bio-analytical measurement systems.
  • Research that leads to technologies that create new businesses adjacent to Agilent’s current markets but within Agilent’s field of interest.
  • Basic research that contributes to the fundamental understanding of areas critical to Agilent’s future.


HP labs was divided into two central labs when Agilent split from Agilent in 1999.

Both laboratories have had distinct success throughout the years including development in x-ray technology, traffic monitoring, and liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry.


The majority of the Labs research is located in the United States in Santa Clara, Calif., with additional locations in Europe (Leuven, Belgium, and South Queensferry, Scotland) and in Asia (Beijing, China).

Investment arm

Agilent Technologies has an active investment group, Agilent Ventures, which invests in high-tech start up companies. Investments include MEMX, Infinera, and Telasics.

Corporate restructuring

In 2001, Agilent Technologies sold its healthcare and medical products organization to Philips Medical Systems. HP Medical Products had been the second oldest part of Hewlett-Packard, acquired in the 1950s. Only the original founding test and measurement organization was older.

In August 2005, Agilent Technologies announced the sale of its Semiconductor Products Group, which produced light-emitting diode, radio frequency and mixed-signal integrated circuits, to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., and Silver Lake Partners. The group now operates as Avago Technologies, an independent, privately held company. Agilent also sold its 47% stake in the light-emitting diode manufacturer Lumileds to Philips Electronics for just under $1 billion. Lumileds originally started as Hewlett-Packard's optoelectronics division.

Also in August 2005, Agilent announced a plan to divest its semiconductor test solutions business, composed of both the system-on-chip and memory test market areas. Agilent listed the new company as Verigy, mid-2006 on NASDAQ.

In 2009 Agilent announced the closure of a subsection of its Test & Measurement division. The product lines affected include the automated optical inspection, solder paste inspection, and automated x-ray products [5DX]. In 2004 Agilent reported that it had captured 19% of the 244million (excluding Japan) global imaging inspection market. On 27th of July 2009 Agilent announced they would buy Varian Inc, for $1.5 Billion.


  1. Arensman, Russ. "Unfinished business: managing one of the biggest spin-offs in corporate history would be a challenge even in the best of times. But what Agilent's Ned Barnholt got was the worst of times. (Cover Story)." Electronic Business 28.10 (Oct 2002): 36(6).
  2. Chemical & Engineering News, 19 Jan. 2008, "Mass Spectrometer Takes Flight", p. 66
  3. "Agilent Research Laboratories Fact Book">[1]
  4. "HP Lab splits"> Press Announcement from Agilent
  5. "Agilent Labs Timeline">[2]
  6. Agilent Trade News Nov 2004

See also

External links


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