analoger wrote:Just curious what is this beast used for?
Anything really fast, but the most obvious application would be testing high-bandwidth connections between chips. It's probably aimed at the cell phone market, since the radios there operate in the 4-5GHz range.
analoger wrote:Is it real-time sampling?
Yep.. 160 gigasamples per second in two-channel mode.
analoger wrote:I mean do Agilent make uP's that are 10x faster than Intel and AMD?
Heck yeah.. how else would Intel and AMD test their chips?
Any test equipment you use has to be faster and more precise than the thing you're trying to measure. If it isn't, you can't know whether you're seeing errors in the circuit or errors in the toolchain you're using to measure the circuit.
This doesn't really have a full microprocessor though, at least not in the measurement section.. more of an insanely fast ADC. The signal path is much shorter than what you'd find in a CPU, and this device makes a different set of tradeoffs among price, power, and speed. It probably burns power at an impressive rate, costs more than the building around it, and uses tricks that would make most physicists say, "WTF?"
When you void a product warrany, you give up your right to sue the manufacturer if something goes wrong and accept full responsibility for whatever happens next. And then you truly own the product.