Digital RF step attenuator range for Wi-Fi 6 up to 8 GHz

May 26, 2020 //By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Digital RF step attenuator range for Wi-Fi 6 up to 8 GHz
Vaunix has announced a solid-state digital step attenuator suite that delivers 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).

The Vaunix Lab Brick design team has been following this trend and agrees that the 6 GHz band and its 1200 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 the LDA-802EH Lab Brick Attenuator. This solid-state, rugged, and yet low-cost ($875) 50-Ohm step attenuator is a bi-directional and offers 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.

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