RF attenuators act as resistors and are used to reduce the level of a signal within radio frequency applications and RF circuits. They have many benefits, including protecting a circuit stage from receiving a current that's too high. RF attenuators can also improve impedance match, ensuring power transfer from source to load is optimised.
RF attenuators come in three types:
To select the right RF attenuator a number of specifications need to be considered, such as attenuation, frequency and impedance. Attenuation is measured in decibels (dB) and depending on the type of attenuation you need this will either be fixed or within a range. RF attenuators are designed for devices with a certain impedance and it's important to match the impedance of the attenuator to the circuit where it will be used.