Keysight mobilizes for modular

-October 06, 2015

A recent Friday morning found me at Keysight Technologies headquarters in Santa Rosa, California.   Keysight, for those who somehow escaped this news, was the electronic test arm of Agilent Technologies, spun off as an independent company late last year. Agilent itself was a spin off of Hewlett-Packard Company in 1999.  

Lest you forget that Keysight represents the original HP, an HP200A audio oscillator greets you as you head to a local conference room.  The HP200A was Bill Hewlett’s and David Packard’s first product, produced in a garage in Palo Alto.

“Can I turn it on?” I ask. Sure, I am told, “It still works”.  And so it does, with even the internal light bulb glowing softly.  The light bulb proved the essential element in a feedback loop design that produced low distortion sine waves.

With a few new tubes, this HP200A works as well as the day it was invented.  The original patent was 1939.  First sale was to Walt Disney Company for the production of the movie Fantasia.

My objective of the day was to catch up on the latest modular instrument happenings from Keysight, with a particular focus on 5G. I still plan to cover the Keysight 5G channel sounding system in a future column, but not today. A chance encounter with Keysight CEO Ron Nersesian changed the focus of this column to Keysight’s modular strategy.

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