The DVT30 was designed to characterize balanced differential trace impedances using TDR instruments that a prototype differential ribbon cable incorporating a new semiconductor device from National Semiconductor with Low-Voltage Differential Signaling (LVDS) I/O digital drivers whose digital outputs were 180 degrees out of phase that created its own virtual ground that is unaffected by common mode noise, like power supply glitches.
In 2010, we began working on developing complementary probe station components necessary for creating scalable probing systems utilizing our differential probes. The objective was to create turn-key probing systems based around each customer's physical test board requirements and compact enough to fit on a standard lab table. These probe systems can also be quickly and easily disassembled for storage and reassembled as needed.
In 2011, a collaborative effort between Signal Microwave, American Probe & Technologies and Global Circuits Innovations (GCI), led to the development of the DVT40 40 GHz differential probe introduced at DesignCon 2011, with the ability to deliver a 40 GHz differential PCB probing system for measuring differential S-parameters and impedances . DVT Solutions was the first company to plate their probe tips with 4-6 um conductive diamond which easily cut though surface oxide on copper test pads, providing low-ohmage repeatable measurements, at any probe angle and at a lower applied force. The DVT40 was also the only differential 40 Ghz probe with adjustable (.35mm to 1.8 mm) probe tips , ideal for probing 1 mm test pads on PCB designs without degrading the probes bandwidth.
In 2020, the industry's demand for higher data rates over differential traces required higher bandwidth differential probes. In partnership with Signal Microwave, we introduced our patented (US Patents 10852322 and 11175311) 50 GHz and 70 GHz true odd mode fixed-pitch differential probe that didn't need a physical ground. The use of a virtual ground helps miminize miss-probes and inaccurate test times when characterizing time and frequency parameters of high-speed single-lane differential traces on board designs supporting 256 GBps bidirectional devices.
To remove the differential probe loss from the PCB measurements and to fully integrate the differential probes to a 4 port VNA measurement system, DVT Solutions has partnered with Ataitec to offer their In Situ De-Embedding (ISD) Network Extraction software that uniquely creates differential probe models for our differential probes by modeling the Signal-Signal differential crosstalk. When the differential probe model is used by a 4-port VNA to de embed the probe, the modeled crosstalk creates a virtual ground return for both probe tips, eliminating the need for a physical ground probe.