RF attenuators are electrical components that are used to reduce the power of a signal without causing distortion of its waveform. They can be utilized in a wide range of test, measurement, and communication applications.
RF attenuator applications and parameters
RF attenuators can be used for the following purposes:
- Extending the dynamic range of measuring equipment
- Preventing signal overload in transmitters and receivers
- Impedance matching
- Reducing the effects of improper input/output terminations of oscillators, amplifiers, and test setups.
Important parameters of RF attenuators include the level of attenuation, the flatness over a specified frequency, range, VSWR, average and peak power-handling capability, size and height, and performance over a given temperature range.
Categories of RF attenuators
RF attenuators can be categorized into three types – fixed attenuators, manually tunable attenuators, and programmable attenuators. Our selection covers all those categories, and we also offer custom solutions to fit your specific application.
In fixed attenuators the resistor network is locked at a preset attenuation value. The resistors are set on the signal path to attenuate the power of the transmitted signal. This causes them to reduce power levels of a signal by a fixed amount with little or no reflections. Fixed attenuators can be unidirectional or bidirectional based on their application requirement. They are available as either surface mount, waveguide, or coaxial types. In a chip-based design, the different types of materials applied on the thermally conductive substrate develop the resistance. This resistance value depends on the dimensions of the chip and the materials used for chip production.
Manually tunable attenuators
Manually tunable attenuators are otherwise like fixed attenuators, but they have a button or knob for adjusting the attenuation levels. These attenuators provide attenuation values only from the pre-calibrated steps. Depending on the application, the manually tunable attenuators can be used in either chip, waveguide, or coaxial formats.
Also known as digital attenuators, programmable RF attenuators have wide attenuation and frequency ranges. A distinguishing feature of programmable attenuators is that a known amount of attenuation can be selected at high speed according to the state of a logic signal. Programmable attenuators switch-in discrete, finite attenuation states, usually in binary steps. Using semiconductor devices such as GaAs MESFETs, PIN diodes or MOSFETs to achieve different attenuation states, switching can be performed at speeds comparable to solid-state switches. Programmable attenuators are widely used in test equipment, such as signal generators, to control the output levels of test signals. Another common use for programmable attenuators is performance testing of various wireless communication systems.
Signal Solutions RF attenuators are available in both 50- and 75-ohm models, with attenuation ranging from 0 to 90 dB, frequency from 3 GHz to 67GHz, input power from 1W to 200W and covering a wide range of interfaces. We also provide custom design RF attenuators to perfectly fit the requirements of your specific application. Feel free to ask us for any kind of RF attenuator and we will meet your requirement.
Best selling Signal Solutions RF attenuator models:
- Fixed Attenuator, DC-6GHz, 2W, 6dB, SMA-Male to SMA-Female
- Fixed Attenuator, DC-6GHz, 5W, 10dB, N-Male-Female
- Fixed Attenuator, DC-6GHz, 50W, 30dB, N-Male-Female, Round Type
- Fixed Attenuator, DC-6GHz, 100W, 30dB, N-Male-Female
- Manually Variable Step Attenuator, DC-6GHz, 2W, 0-70dB, 1dB Steps, SMA-Female
- Manually Variable Step Attenuator DC-6GHz, 2W, 10-60dB, 10db Steps, SMA
- Programmable RF Attenuator, 8-Channel, 50-8000MHz
- Programmable RF Attenuator, 16-Channel 5-6000MHz