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Affymetrix' GeneChip® technology was invented in the late 1980's by a team of scientists lead by Stephen P.A. Fodor, Ph.D. The theory behind their work was revolutionary - a notion that semiconductor manufacturing techniques could be united with advances in combinatorial chemistry to build vast amounts of biological data on a small glass chip. This technology became the basis of a new company, Affymetrix, formed as a division of Affymax, N.V. in 1991. Affymetrix began operating independently in 1992.
Affymetrix has headquarters in Santa Clara, California with offices worldwide. Today, these arrays are considered the gold standard tool for analyzing complex genetic information and are used by hundreds of pharmaceutical, biotechnology, agrichemical, diagnostics and consumer products companies as well as academic, government and other non-profit research institutes to analyze the relationship between genes and human health.