International Manufacturing Services (IMS) has developed a series of Aluminum nitride (AlN) based surface mount thick film attenuators for compact components used in high power RF and microwave applications. The V Series of attenuators offers an attenuation range from 0 to 30 dB, and has a DC attenuation stability of 0.001 dB/ dB/ °C. They can operate at temperatures ranging from -55 to 150 ºC. IMS' design principles assure proper balance between a well behaved frequency response and optimal thermal performance for these attenuators, whose architecture maximizes allowable dissipated power for the upper-dB levels. These attenuators have a Pi attenuator architecture comprising of three resistor element networks.
Compared to Alumina-based attenuators, the V Series can offer six times better heat dissipation at a lower production cost, and do not have the health/safety concerns associated with manufacturing Beryllium oxide (BeO) based components.
Proper use of RF principles at the circuit level (provision for ground or heatsink to draw heat generated while attenuation) will allow acceptable thermal and electrical performance up to 10 GHz. Thermal performance is dependent on the application of the attenuators, which depends on the circuit design, keeping in mind both ambient conditions and steady state operations that the attenuators will be subjected to.
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