Tackling Multi-Bit Attenuator Designs

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  • Author: Eric E. Austin, Dr. Haki Cebi, and Dr. Jay Yang
Digital step attenuators (DSAs) are versatile components that allow precise control of amplitude levels in a variety of RF/microwave systems. Of course, the requirements for different applications, from wireless and cellular communications equipment (portable and infrastructure) to wired cable-television (CATV) systems, can vary greatly. Designers of DSAs must remain aware of the different demands of the many potential applications while aiming for low insertion loss, high linearity, high attenuation accuracy, and fast switching speed.