The CMD325 from Custom MMIC is a negative controlled, wideband GaAs MMIC 6-bit digital attenuator die designed to operate from the DC to 30 GHz frequency range. Each bit of the attenuator is controlled by a single voltage of either 0 V or –5 V. It features a low insertion loss of 4 dB at 12 GHz and the attenuation accuracy is typically 0.2 dB step error.

Mini Circuits offers a series of “full fan-out” or “fully non-blocking” matrices using a combination of programmable attenuators and splitters/combiners that deliver a flexible set of paths between the input and output ports. The configuration is analogous to a switch matrix except any individual path can be “on” (0 dB attenuation), or “off” (max attenuation), or any specific path loss in-between.

JFW's 75BA-004-95-127 is a 75 Ohm benchtop attenuator assembly containing two solid-state step attenuators. The attenuators have an attenuation range of 0 to 95dB by 1dB steps and operate from 5 MHz to 2150 GHz. 

JFW offers the 50PA-1144-XX 19-inch rack mount attenuator assembly comprising 50 Ohm sold-state step attenuators with an attenuation range of 0 to 62dB by 1dB steps and operation from 100 MHz to 18 GHz.

JFW’s Model 50BA-043-63 is a 50 Ohm benchtop attenuator assembly containing two solid-state step attenuators. These attenuators feature attenuation range of 0 to 127 dB by 1 dB steps and operate within the 100 MHz to 18 GHz frequency range.

JFW offers the 50PA-506 Solid State Programmable Attenuator System that operates from 200 MHz to 6 GHz. It has eight individually controlled attenuation channels that each provide a total attenuation range of 63 dB with 1 dB steps. Each attenuation channel has an insertion loss of less than 6.6 dB and can handle up to 33 dBm of input power.

JFW’s Model 50P-2101 is a 50 OHM solid-state programmable attenuator with attenuation range 0 to 63.5 dB by 0.5 dB steps. The unit operates bi-directionally with the input rated for +24 dBm and the output rated for +15 dBm.

JFW offers the 50PA-1068 modular attenuator assembly designed to be connected to up to a maximum of 8 RF modules and operate within the 200 to 6000 MHz frequency range. The RF modules contain individually controlled programmable attenuators with attenuation range 0-95 dB x 1 dB steps. 



Attenuators are the exact opposite of an amplifier. It is used to reduce the intensity of either electricity or sound. For example the digital impulse that is used to drive a speaker may be stepped down to prevent the lower range speakers from failing. An equalizer in music is a form of amplifier and attenuator rolled up into one. It however targets on particular frequency. Every instrument in a musical symphony and even the human voice occupy a certain frequency range. Each not of a violin for example has a very specific frequency. The A string on a violin is exactly 440Hz. Using an attenuator, one can target the exact frequency of 440Hz and reduce its intensity. It can even be attenuated all the way down to zero. If this were to happen then every time an A not of a violin was played, it would not be heard.

This sort of technology is used to clean up sounds of recordings and other sounds in a recording. It is even possible to pin point the frequency range of the human voice then use an attenuator to reduce it to zero. Imagine if one were to take a recording of a song and attenuate just the vocal portion, the song will now resemble a minus one track.

Attenuators have other more sophisticated commercial uses. The can be used to reduce the electrical impulses that were amplified to travel long distances and may still carry strong energy when it arrives, so it needs to be attenuated before it is channeled for processing.