I need to store the output of a stand alone comparator (Hittite HMC875LC3C) in computer RAM drive. Currently, I'm using an 8bit 2GHz ADC (an Agilent PCIe - Acquiris U1071A) to bridge between the comparator and the RAM drive. This solution is redundant, slow, and very expensive (the Agilent ADC is almost $10k).
I would enjoy a better solution where no ADC is present and the comparator connects directly to the PC. Perhaps through a USB port?
Ideally, I would like the comparator to operate at around 1GHz (it supports operations up to 20 Gbps). I would suspect the maximal throughput essentially depends on the computer's processor and interface i/o characteristics.
The comparator outputs pulses are about 60ps long and the Output Voltage High Level is -10mV while the Output Voltage Low Level is about -420 mV. The comparator is emmbeded on a PCB with SMA connectors.
Question: Is it possible to connect a high speed (1GHz) comparator into a PC without having to use an ADC? If so would some form of synchronization be required?