News | April 23, 2014

Peregrine Upgrades Industry-Leading RF Digital Step Attenuator

The New, Pin-Compatible UltraCMOS PE4312 RF Digital Step Attenuator (DSA) Succeeds Peregrine’s Flagship PE4302

Peregrine Semiconductor Corp., founder of RF SOI (silicon on insulator) and pioneer of advanced RF solutions, introduces its next-generation, UltraCMOS PE4312 DSA. Successor to the popular PE4302 – which boasts more than 35 million units shipped since its introduction – the new PE4312 enables flexible, wide dynamic-range network-infrastructure designs that require highly accurate and efficient amplitude control. This DSA upgrade is ideally suited for wireless-infrastructure devices, broadband consumer and infrastructure equipment, land mobile radios (LMRs), test-and-measurement equipment and military RF applications.

“Peregrine created the category of digital step attenuators with the UltraCMOS PE4302, and today’s announcement of our next-generation DSA will enable us to preserve our market leadership as the DSA category demands evolve,” says Kinana Hussain, senior marketing manager at Peregrine. “Based on customer requests, the UltraCMOS PE4312 features an extended temperature range that enable RF engineers to simplify thermal design, wider power-supply range to enable flexible power-supply routing, 1.8 V-compatible control voltage levels to enable lower-power designs and higher ESD ratings to ease manufacturing flow.”

UltraCMOS PE4312 Sets New Performance Bar for DSAs
Peregrine’s PE4312 is the only DSA on the market to meet a low insertion loss of 2.1 dB at 4 GHz at any power-supply level between 2.3 V and 5.5 V. It also handles the industry’s widest temperature range between -40 and 105 degrees Celsius and supports both 1.8 V and 3 V control logic. In addition, the PE4312 offers several improvements over PE4302 in attenuation accuracy ±(0.15 + 2% of attenuation setting), linearity (IIP3 of 59 dBm) and switching speed (500 ns). Finally, the PE4312 features a novel architecture to provide safe attenuation-state-transition behavior, which prevents positive power spikes that occur during attenuation-state changes when RF input power is applied. This feature simplifies the digital-interface design, improves signal quality and prevents damage to power amplifier sub-assemblies.

DSAs Improve Performance of Devices in Many Markets
Based on increasing RF-performance demands, Peregrine’s DSAs deliver substantial benefits to wireless-infrastructure devices, broadband TV modems, LMRs, test-and-measurement equipment and military RF applications. Peregrine DSAs are in multiband, RF-infrastructure applications and deliver power control in distributed antenna systems; gain control for optical repeaters in wireless-infrastructure devices; signal conditioning in broadband equipment; and amplitude conditioning in test-and-measurement equipment and LMRs.

Features, Packaging, Pricing and Availability
Peregrine’s PE4312 is a 50-ohm, 6-bit RF DSA with a 31.5 dB attenuation range in 0.5 dB steps. It maintains high linearity of +59 dBm IIP3 and monotonicity from 1 MHz through 4 GHz. Pin-for-pin compatible with the PE4302, the PE4312 DSA features multiple programming modes, including serial, direct parallel, and latched parallel, making it easy to design it into a wide range of systems. The PE4312 has high, monotonic attenuation performance of 0.5 dB up to 4 GHz, which improves instrument sensitivity and performance. Fast switching time of 500 nanoseconds improves system response times. ESD protection of 1.5 kV HBM eases manufacturing and prolongs the life of the end product. The 1.8 V and 3 V control logic support makes it easy to integrate the DSA with the latest FPGAs. High integration in a single package eliminates the need for the discrete components and bias circuits that are required with pin-diode solutions, further easing design and reducing board space. The PE4312 also features an external negative supply option. Its packaging is RoHS compliant, 20-lead QFN, and it measures 4 x 4 mm. Samples and volume-production parts are available now and priced at $1.52 each in 10K-quantity orders. Evaluation kit boards are $150. For more detail, view the PE4312 press kit for images and datasheet.



50 Ω RF Digital Step Attenuator


50 Ω RF Digital Step Attenuator


0.5 dB steps to 31.5 dB

0.5 dB steps to 31.5 dB

Safe attenuation-state transitions



Attenuation accuracy

  • ±(0.10 + 1% x Atten) @ 1 GHz
  • ±(0.15 + 2% x Atten) @ 2.2 GHz
  • ±(0.15 + 8% x Atten) @ 4 GHz
  • ±(0.10 + 3% x Atten) @ 1 GHz
  • ±(0.15 + 5% x Atten) @ 2.2 GHz

Control logic support

+1.8 V & +3 V

+3 V


+59 dBm IIP3

+52 dBm IIP3

Power-supply range

2.3 V to 5.5 V

2.7 V to 3.3 V

Operating-temperature range

-40 to 105° C

-40 to 85° C

Programming modes

  • Direct Parallel
  • Latched Parallel
  • Serial
  • Direct Parallel
  • Latched Parallel
  • Serial

Switching speed

500 ns

1000 ns


1500 V

500 V


20 lead 4x4mm QFN

20 lead 4x4mm QFN

About Peregrine Semiconductor
Peregrine Semiconductor, founder of RF SOI (silicon on insulator), is a leading fabless provider of high-performance, integrated RF solutions. Since 1988 Peregrine and its founding team have been perfecting UltraCMOS technology – a patented, advanced form of SOI – to deliver the performance edge needed to solve the RF market’s biggest challenges, such as linearity. With products that deliver best-in-class performance and monolithic integration, Peregrine is the trusted choice for market leaders in automotive, broadband, industrial, Internet of Things, military, mobile devices, smartphones, space, test-and-measurement equipment and wireless infrastructure. Peregrine holds more than 170 filed and pending patents and has shipped more than 2 billion UltraCMOS units. For more information, visit

SOURCE: Peregrine Semiconductor Corp.