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Peregrine Introduces Next-Generation RF step attenuators

Glitch-less digital step attenuators reduce engineering overhead

Peregrine Semiconductor, a company specialising in RF silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology, has announced three glitch-less RF digital step attenuators (DSAs) that support a frequency range from 9 kHz to 6 GHz. 

An evolution of Peregrine's existing DSA portfolio, the UltraCMOS  PE43711, PE43712 and PE43713 feature an extended temperature range (-40 to 105degC), a wider power supply (2.3 to 5.5V), a faster switching speed (275ns), broader control logic support (both 1.8 and 3.3V), increased ESD tolerance and (as the name suggests) glitch-less attenuation state transitions.

When switching attenuation states with a DSA, there is a brief transient spike in output power. This glitch, if left alone, could lead to degraded signal quality and possible damage to power amplifier sub-assemblies.

To minimise this glitch, engineers deploy a software or firmware workaround that reduces the effect of this transient spike. With Peregrine's new glitch-less DSAs, this output power glitch is significantly reduced to less than 0.3 dB, according to the company, enabling customers to decrease their engineering overhead and prevent damage to expensive sub-assemblies.

 "In 2004 Peregrine Semiconductor introduced the world's first single-chip DSA and has since shipped tens of millions of units," says Kinana Hussain, director of marketing at Peregrine Semiconductor.

"Building on Peregrine's market-leading DSA portfolio, the PE43711, PE43712 and PE43713 offer improved performance and features along with a solution to one of our customers' biggest challenges-attenuation state transition glitches."

The PE43711 and PE43712 are designed for wireless-infrastructure devices, land-mobile-radio applications and point-to-point communication systems; the PE43713 is suited for test-and-measurement  applications. All devices are 50-ohm, 7-bit DSAs that cover a 31.75dB attenuation range with flexible attenuation steps of 0.25dB, 0.5dB and 1dB. These DSAs are capable of maintaining 0.25dB monotonicity through 4GHz, 0.5dB monotonicity through 5GHz and 1dB monotonicity through 6GHz.


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