10 Most Significant Products

In 1989, HP posted a list of its top ten technical contributions. Seven and a half of those contributions were in the computer industry (the HP-IB interface was a major force in both instruments and computers). Interestingly, inkjet printing did not make the list, as it would easily make the top two list today. In 1989, HP had not yet reaped the fruits of all those high-margin annuity print cartridges.

From the May-June edition of Measure Magazine :

  1. 1975. HP interface bus (HP-IB). Industry adopted the HP-IB as an interface to connect instruments.
  2. 1951. HP 524A electronic counter. It reduced the time needed to measure high frequencies from minutes to seconds.
  3. 1964. HP 5060A flying clock. HP engineers flew the atomic clocks they developed to 18 countries to synchronize international time standards.
  4. 1968. HP 9100A scientific desktop calculator. It was the world's first programmable scientific desktop calculator.
  5. 1972. HP-35 scientific calculator. The world's first scientific handheld calculator – and Bill Hewlett's favorite product – made the engineer's slide rule obsolete.
  6. 1982. HP 32-bit microprocessor. HP's NMOS-III technology produced a silicon chip with 600,000 transistors – more than any other on the market for many years.
  7. 1972. HP 3000 computer. The HP 3000 business computer was the industry's first commercial distributed data-processing system.
  8. 1986. HP Precision Architecture computers. HP was the first major computer maker to commit to a broad line of products based on reduced-instruction-set computing (RISC).
  9. 1988. HP-28S calculator. It was the first calculator to perform symbolic algebra and calculus. The inclusion of the 28S on this list is very unusual as the product had almost no commercial impact on the company.
  10. 1984. HP LaserJet printer. HP LaserJet is the world's most popular personal desktop laser printer.


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