Digital RF Step Attenuators Designed for New Wi-Fi 6 Applications Up to 8 GHz

Posted on Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Vaunix, a leading provider of portable and programmable RF/microwave test devices, has recently announced the release of a suite of solid-state digital step attenuators that deliver ultra-fine resolution for Wi-Fi 6 applications ranging from as low as 200 MHz to the latest Wi-Fi 6 allocations in the 6,000 MHz to 8,000 MHz ( 8 GHz ) C-band range.

 

As Wi-Fi continues to carry an exponentially growing amount of internet traffic, industry insiders at Test and Measurement Tips and others are predicting that despite an available frequency bandwidth of less than 600 MHz (70 MHz in the 2.4 GHz band, 500 MHz in the 5 GHz band) there’ll be an 800 MHz spectrum shortfall to handle internet traffic by 2020, with that shortfall growing to 1.12 GHz by 2025. A study commissioned by the Wi-Fi Alliance stresses the importance of making a continuous spectrum available to enable 160 MHz-wide channels (or future 320 MHz channels).

 

Vaunix’s Lab Brick design team has been following this trend and agrees that the 6 GHz band and its 1,200 MHz of contiguous spectrum can fulfill the growth requirements, and this is why they’re launching a new suite of products in this band with specific features for this market.

 

A flagship model is Vaunix’s LDA-802EH Lab Brick Attenuator. This solid-state, rugged, and yet low-cost ($875) 50 Ohm step attenuator is a bi-directional RF attenuation solution offering an optimal 120 dB of attenuation control across its entire bandwidth up to 8 GHz. It also offers an impressive 0.1 dB step size.

 

The LDA-802EH is powered and programmed by a USB connection. (Ethernet control available by request.) USB Lab Bricks use a native USB HID interface to avoid the difficulties inherent in using older serial or IEEE-488 interfaces implemented over USB. As a result, users can get to work faster without having to install kernel level drivers and can work within any environment that supports USB HID devices, including low cost embedded computers using Linux or similar operating systems. Test technicians wishing to develop their own interface, can utilize Vaunix’s included LabVIEW drivers, Windows API DLL files, Linux drivers, macOS SDK examples, and more.

 

These portable and programmable RF/microwave test devices have been designed to suit the high speed data requirements of Wi-Fi 6 but also meet the challenging requirements of MIMO testing applications and a variety of IoT, 3G, 4G, 5G, LTE, and DVB system applications, and microwave radio simulators. They are easily programmed for fixed attenuation or swept attenuation ramps/fading profiles directly from the included Graphical User Interface (GUI).

 

These portable, hand-held units can also be packaged as a single rack unit for ATE stands. Custom engineering for additional electrical and mechanical specifications is also available.

 

For RF/microwave test technicians requiring multi-port test configurations, Vaunix also offers a 4-port LDA-802Q for $2,995 and an 8 port LDA-802-8 for $3,999. Each offers the same electrical performance and frequency coverage as the LDA-802EH. These models also offer a choice of an Ethernet connectivity option.

 

To place an order or review all of the available digital attenuators, visit: https://vaunix.com/digital-attenuators/

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