Timeline of our history - Product

From its origins in a Palo Alto garage to its current position as one of the world's leading enterprise technology companies, HPE has grown and evolved significantly since its founding in 1939. See key milestones and moments from our history.

1930's - 1960's


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1938 - HP invents first product

Drawing on Bill’s study of negative feedback, Bill and Dave produce HP's first product, the resistance-capacitance audio oscillator, used to test sound equipment. They name it the HP Model 200A.

1938 - Oscillators for Walt Disney

The Walt Disney Company orders eight HP Model 200B oscillators to prepare movie theaters to show Fantasia.

1943 - HP enters microwave field

HP enters the microwave field, setting the stage for future leadership in signal generators.

1951 - Fast frequency counter

HP invents the 524A high-speed frequency counter, greatly reducing the time required to measure high frequencies. Frequency counters and related products will account for billions in future revenue for HP.

1956 - HP's first oscilloscopes

HP produces its first oscilloscopes, which will go on to represent a significant part of HP’s test and measurement product line.

1963 - New frequency synthesizer

HP introduces the HP 5100A frequency synthesizer. One of the most complex instruments developed to date by the company, the HP 5100A is used in deep-space vehicles.

1960's - 1970's


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1964 - HP atomic clock sets standard

The highly accurate HP 5060A atomic clocks set the new standard for international time.

1964 - Spectrum analyzer

HP's first spectrum analyzer, the 8551, becomes indispensable for RF and microwave workbenches. It soon becomes the company's first $1 million-a-month product.

1966 - HP Labs opens

HP Laboratories is opened, creating HP’s first centralized organization focused on exploring new ideas. Barney Oliver is the founding director.

1966 - HP's first computer

HP's first computer, the HP 2116A, is introduced. It is developed as a versatile instrument controller for HP's growing family of programmable test and measurement products. In an early version of "plug and play," it interfaces with a wide number of standard laboratory instruments, allowing customers to computerize their instrument systems. The first go-anywhere, do-anything computer, the first 2116A is sold to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and used aboard a research vessel in a salt-air environment for more than 10 years.

1966 - LEDs

HP Labs develops the first commercially-available light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Applications include alphanumeric displays such as indicator lights and traffic signals.

1967 - Atomic clocks

HP's cesium-beam atomic clocks set the world's time standards, coordinating international time to within a millionth of a second. The clocks, which grow more accurate over the decades, are used in a host of time-critical applications that include avoiding airplane collisions, running telecommunications systems and even operating space shuttles.

1968 - 1st "personal computer"

First programmable scientific desktop calculator: The HP 9100A – virtually the first PC – stores programs on a magnetic card and can solve science and engineering problems 10 times faster than most other machines. It paves the way for the company's workstation business. Ads call it a "personal computer" in the first documented uses of the term.

1971 - HP leads in laser interferometers

HP produces a laser interferometer capable of taking infinitesimal measurements. The device becomes the tool of choice in microchip manufacturing. Similar technology also produces a laser instrument that becomes the first electronic surveying tool.

1970's - 1980's


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1972 - HP enters business computing

HP expands into business computing with the HP 3000, which introduces the era of distributed data processing.

1972 - HP-35 calculator introduced

HP introduces the HP-35, the world’s first scientific hand-held calculator. Small enough to fit in a shirt pocket, it makes the slide rule obsolete. In 2000, Forbes ASAP names the HP-35 one of the "all time products" that changed the world.

1974 - 1st programmable pocket calculator

The HP-65 is introduced as the world’s first programmable pocket calculator.

1975 - HP interface bus goes global

HP simplifies instrument systems by creating a standard interface. The electronics industry adopts the HP-IB (interface bus) as an international standard to allow one or more instruments to connect easily to a computer.

1977 - HP introduces wrist instrument

HP introduces the HP-01 wrist instrument, a combination digital wristwatch, calculator and personal calendar. It is one of the world’s first personal information devices.

1979 - Gas chromatography leaps forward

HP Labs researchers create fused silica capillary columns for gas chromatography, which revolutionizes chemical analysis.

1980 - HP's first PC

HP introduces its first personal computer, the HP-85. The unit had input/output modules that allowed it to control instruments, add on more powerful peripherals and even to talk to other computers.



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1981 - HP's calculator standard

HP introduces the HP-12C business calculator. It will go on to become the world’s standard financial calculator and is still being sold by HP today.

1982 - 1st handheld computer debuts

The HP-75C debuts as HP’s first handheld computer. Able to connect to peripherals such as a digital cassette drive and printer, it’s an early tool for mobile computing.

1982 - 1st desktop mainframe

HP introduces the HP 9000 technical computer. The first "desktop mainframe," it’s as powerful as the room-size computers of the 1960s.

1983 - HP introduces Touchscreen PC

HP introduces the HP-150 Touchscreen PC, allowing users to activate features simply by touching the screen.

1983 - Bill wins science medal

Bill Hewlett is awarded the National Medal of Science, the nation’s highest scientific honor.

1984 - First laptop

HP's first laptop, the HP-110

1984 - HP invents ThinkJet printing

HP introduces thermal inkjet printing with the debut of the HP ThinkJet. It marks the success of HP Labs in miniaturizing inkjet technology to deliver superior quality, quieter operation and lower-power consumption over dot-matrix printers.

1984 - HP LaserJet takes off

HP introduces the HP LaserJet, which quickly becomes the world’s most popular personal desktop laser printer.

1986 - HP creates RISC architecture

HP becomes the first major computer company to introduce a precision architecture based on reduced instruction set computing (RISC), making computers faster and less expensive. RISC executes instructions faster and does more work than previous generations of chips.

1980's - 1990's


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1986 - 3D graphics

3D graphics come of age with the HP SRX, the first generation of graphics workstations. The device helps HP become a leading graphics workstation vendor.

1988 - HP Deskjet launched

The HP DeskJet debuts as the company’s first mass-market inkjet printer.

1989 - World's first x86 server

Customers can achieve PC-like economics and flexibility for their server environments with the first x86 server built on industry standards. The Compaq SystemPro ushers in a new era of computing in enterprise server reliability, capacity and performance.

1991 - Color printing revolution

HP revolutionizes color printing with the introduction of the affordable HP DeskJet 500C. HP Labs scientists create fundamental color (sRGB), compression and half-toning algorithms for the DeskJet 500C, dramatically reducing the cost of color printing.

1991 - Portable PCs get power boost

HP advances lightweight portable computer with the HP 95LX palmtop PC. Roughly the size of a pocket calculator, it boasts as much computing power as a desktop PC.

1993 - HP introduces Omnibook 300

HP introduces the 3-pound (1.4-kilogram) HP OmniBook 300, a superportable PC with extended battery life.

1993 - First rack-mounted server

Proliant line of servers is introduced by Compaq (later acquired by HP). The Proliant 4000 is the first rack-mounted server in the market. Rack-mounting simplifies physical deployment and improves data center security.

1994 - Itanium

Building on work that began in HP Labs in 1981, researchers team with Intel engineers to develop what eventuallybecomes Intel's next-generation Itanium architecture, launched in 2001. It advances computing from 32 to 64 bits.

1994 - World's brightest LED

HP produces the world’s brightest LED, expanding the range of LED applications in cars, traffic signals and moving-message signs.

1990's - 2000's


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1994 - 1st commercial all-in-one device

HP introduces the HP OfficeJet personal printer-fax-copier, the world’s first mass-market all-in-one device.

1995 - HP home computers

HP enters the home computing market with the HP Pavilion PC.

1995 - Telecommunications Revolution

Teams from HP businesses and HP Labs develop standard telecommunications computing platforms to replace the inflexible proprietary equipment of the time. Today, these technologies are found in the Open Call family of products.

1997 - Digital photography

HP Labs provides a pipeline of imaging innovations like adaptive lighting, color balance and automatic red-eye removal that add a "custom photo lab" to HP products and services.

1998 - HP's first PDA

HP introduces its first PDA (personal digital assistant), the Jornada 820 Handheld PC.

1998 - Mice go cordless

Navigation technology devised by HP Labs for a handheld copier is later licensed for use in cordless mice. The paper-motion sensing technology can also be seen in today's printers.

2000 - Mice go cordless

HP introduces the Superdome server line, advancing its position in Internet infrastructure.

2001 - Itanium

Building on work that began in HP Labs in 1981, researchers team with Intel engineers to develop what eventuallybecomes Intel's next-generation Itanium architecture, launched in 2001. It advances computing from 32 to 64 bits.

2001 - Utility Computing

HP Labs researchers help create the Utility Data Center, believed to be the first true implementation of a utility computing technology for enterprises looking to make better use of their resources. The technology helps service providers meet customers' fluctuating demands.



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2002 - HP contributes to nanotechnology

HP announces breakthroughs in molecular electronics in the emerging field of nanotechnology. A team of chemists, physicists, engineers and computer scientists working in quantum computing produce the highest density electronically addressable memory to date. The laboratory demonstration circuit, a 64-bit memory using molecular switches as active devices, fits inside a square micron -- an area so tiny that more than 1,000 could fit on the end of a human hair.

2002 - HP photo prints excel

HP announces new color printers and paper that deliver results surpassing traditional prints in photo quality and fade resistance.

2002 - First Proliant blade server

Revolutionized data center operations with new levels of flexibility, scalability and economics built on a plug-and-play, space saving server design, reduced cable requirements with the introduction of the first HP ProLiant blade server.

2002 - HP Blade System

HP eases management of blade server infrastructures by slashing deployment time, increasing energy efficiency and adding on-board shared storage and data protection with the introduction of HP BladeSystem.

2003 - HP fights counterfeiters

HP scientists' work using computational fluid dynamics to model heat distribution in a data center leads to HP's smart cooling solution, which potentially can dramatically reduce energy use and save millions of dollars annually.

2004 - Smart Cooling

HP wins the Corporate Innovation Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) for the development and commercialization of thermal inkjet technology.

2004 - HP wins IEEE award

HP OpenView Automation Manager helps automatically shift IT resources to meet shifting business priorities.

2004 - OpenView

An HP Labs image-compression algorithm is used to create some of the spectacular, high-resolution images of Mars transmitted by NASA's Spirit Rover spacecraft. The images help scientists on earth closely study the surface of Mars from 106 million miles away.

2005 - Mars attacks!

HP announces a breakthrough ink-based printing platform. The inkjet printhead is fabricated as one unit via a photolithographic process, rather than welded together in post-production.

2005 - A print breakthrough

Virus Throttle, a technology developed in HP Labs, is designed to quickly control the spread of viruses across corporate networks and reduce the damage they cause during an attack. The software is currently available in select HP products. 

2005 - Virus Throttle

HP disrupts the traditional video conferencing market by introducing the HP Halo Collaboration Studio. A precisely designed broadcast studio, Halo enables remote teams to work together in a setting so life-like that participants feel as though they are in the same room. The technology is later sold to Polycom.

2006 - Wonderful World of Color

Color scientists are making fundamental contributions to the International Color Consortium (ICC), which helps ensure that colors captured on one device can be reproduced satisfactorily on others. By making color management more predictable, researchers hope to help transform commercial printing into a Web-based business.

2006 - OpenCall

HP's OpenCall adds streaming media and network overlay technologies to enable high-quality, reliable transfer of multimedia over 3G phone networks.

2006 - Gesture-based keyboard

HP Labs India creates the Gesture Keyboard (GKB), a low cost device to input phonetic languages. With the help of this keyboard, people who are not conversant in the English language can use a computer to send emails, browse the web and handle documents.

2007 - TouchSmart introduced

HP introduces its first TouchSmart PC, an all-in-one PC with a touch-screen display. HP also introduces a touch-screen consumer tablet PC.

2007 - HP licenses drug delivery skin patch

HP licenses its technology for a drug delivery skin patch that enables painless, controlled release of drugs. Developed as a way to repurpose its inkjet technology, the technology in the skin patch is similar to that employed in HP’s patented process for its inkjet cartridges.

2008 - Memristor

Researchers at HP Labs solve a decades-old mystery by proving the existence of a fourth basic element in integrated circuits—the memristor (short for memory resistor). The memristor could lead to far more energy-efficient computers with some of the pattern-matching abilities of the human brain.

2008 - HP 2133 Mini-Note PC introduced

HP introduces a full-function, mini-notebook computer: the HP 2133 Mini-Note PC. Designed for the education market, it also offers mobile professionals a sleek, lightweight device that provides access to information and the ability to collaborate with others.

2008 - HP POD

In 2008, HP's networking product goes into space, literally—to the International Space Station, making the ProCurve 2524 switch the first commercial Ethernet switch successfully deployed in space.

2008 - Ethernet goes to space

HP's POD (Performance Optimized Data Center) is a modular data center that delivers the equivalent of 4,000-plus square feet of typical data center capacity in a 40-foot shipping container. Customers can expand data centers quickly while increasing energy efficiency and reducing capital expenses on brick-and-mortar facilities.

2009 - HP receives prestigious IEEE award

HP receives the prestigious IEEE Milestone in Electrical Engineering and Computing award for its HP-35 scientific calculator. Introduced in 1972, the HP-35 was the world's first handheld-sized scientific calculator, standing apart from its peers, which could only perform four basic functions – addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

2009 - Envy

Building upon the legacy of acquired company Voodoo, HP introduces the HP Envy line of precision-crafted, high-performance notebooks.

2010 - A new paradigm for printing

The world's first web-connected home printer is introduced. The HP Photosmart Premium with TouchSmart Web allows users to print from the web using the printer as their only access device. A host of applications is provided, including the ability to search movies, buy tickets in advance and print tickets at home.

2010 - First mobile printing solution

Mobile printing comes of age with the industry's first mobile print solution. Using the cloud, users can print from any web-connected device (smartphones, tablets, netbooks and more) by sending an email to any new e-mail enabled HP printer. "HP ePrint: if you can email it, you can print it."

2011 - Next-generation data centers

In March, HP opens a state-of-the-art research facility in Fort Collins, Colo., to explore new strategies for reducing the environmental impact of next-generation data centers.

2011 - HP introduces wireless mouse

HP introduces the industry's first wireless mouse. The HP Wi-Fi Mobile Mouse is the first mouse to connect quickly and easily without a USB dongle via a PC's built-in Wi-Fi receiver.

2012 - Simple never goes out of style

Polymorphic simplicity is how HP describes its single-system storage architecture for all sizes of client deployments, making storage less complex and more efficient.

2013 - Moonshot delivers

Based on 10 years of research from HP Labs, Moonshot is the world's first software-defined server. A fundamental disruption in server design, Moonshot servers run on extreme low-energy microprocessors originally designed for mobile phones. Moonshot uses up to 89% less energy, 80% less space and costs 77% less than traditional servers, helping companies keep up with the information demands of the time.

2013 - Instant ink

An ink replacement service ordered by your printer and delivered to your door, HP Instant Ink ensures that you’ll never run out of ink.

2013 - 200 Million and Counting

HP celebrates another milestone--building on years of innovation, the 200 millionth LaserJet printer ships.

2013 - The end of backup as we know it

HP unveils the industry's first adaptive, dynamic and self-aware backup and recovery software solution. HP Data Protector 8.1 upends the traditional backup and recovery model, using real-time operational analytics to optimize storage.

2013 - World's Fastest Printer with PageWide

HP releases the new HP Officejet Pro X, recognized by Guinness World Records for the fastest time to print by an office color desktop printer. It's powered by a new PageWide printhead that grants it the speed benefits of a laser printer while maintaining the color print quality of an inkjet.
HP PageWide Technology reinvents printing by delivering four colors of Original HP pigment ink at one time onto a moving sheet of paper. As the paper moves, the printhead remains stationary, allowing the HP Officejet Pro X Series to print faster, using less energy, more productively, more efficiently and with less cost.

2014 - HP plus Android for business

The company's innovative multi-OS approach results in HP's first commercial All-in-One using Google's Android operating system. The Android-powered HP Slate21 Pro AiO is designed for productivity in office, education and kiosk environments.

2014 - HP Unveils 360-degree Convertible PC

Announces the HP Pavilionx360, an affordable touch convertible PC that transforms the computing experience with a 360-degree hinge.

2014 - Helion

HP launches a portfolio of open source cloud computing products and services for the enterprise called HP Helion. Helion is based on HP's OpenStack technology to manage, control and scale applications in a hybrid IT environment (private cloud plus public cloud).

2014 - Sprout

HP announces Sprout PC, a new product category that is the first in its new line of blended reality offerings. The Windows Sprout combines a 23-inch touch-screen HD display, a touch-recognizing capacitive mat, a PC, and an overhead projector/3-D camera-scanner system. Downward projections can be modified by hand motions or a stylus, providing input to the computer. Any real object can be placed on the surface to be scanned and turned into a model, thus bringing 3D into personal computing. Sprout represents the creation of a new computing category called Immersive Computing.

2015 - DreamColor Displays Win Award

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honors the HP DreamColor Display and its developers with the Scientific and Engineering Award for the impact it's made in film, providing affordable, consistent and stable color throughout the film production process. First introduced in 2008, DreamColor displays address the critical need in the film industry for the richest, most accurate colors.

2015 - LaserJet Re-engineered

In the most significant laser printing re-engineering since the introduction of the first LaserJet in 1984, HP announces a new series of LaserJet printers built around the latest in toner formulation - new Original HP Toner cartridges with JetIntelligence. The new LaserJets use up to 53% less energy, take up to 40% less space and wake up, print and duplex in a fraction of the time.

2015 - A Detachable PC

Designed to be a tablet and a notebook PC, HP Pavilion x2 has a latchless magnetic connector that easily detaches and attaches the keyboard. This transforms the device from a traditional notebook experience into a tablet for on-the-go, stand mode for watching movies or tent mode for playing games.