Amplification vs Attenuation-Difference between Amplification and Attenuation

This page on Amplification vs Attenuation describes difference between Amplification and Attenuation. Amplification refers to power gain and attenuation refers to power loss. Both amplification and attenuation terms are related to RF Amplifier and RF Attenuator.



When an RF Signal passes through the RF Amplifier, the signal gets amplified or boosted in amplitude(i.e. magnitude). This is known as amplification. The same has been depicted in the figure-1.

Amplification is measured in dB(Decibel). The magnitude of amount amplified using the amplification process by the RF amplifier device is known as power gain. Gain is expressed as ratio of output power and input power.
Power Gain(dB) = 10 Log(Pout/Pin)



When an RF Signal passes through the RF Attenuator or any passive device or cables, the signal gets attenuated or diluted in amplitude. This is known as attenuation. The same has been depicted in the figure-2.

Similar to Amplification, attenuation is also measured in dB (Decibel). The magnitude of amount attenuated using the attenuation process by the passive device (i.e. lossy device) is known as power loss. The power loss(also referred as insertion loss) is expressed as ratio of input power and output power.
Power Loss(dB) = 10 Log (Pin/Pout)

From the above differences, it can be implied that amplification is the reverse of attenuation.

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