Power Splitter – The Amicable Segregator

The power splitter is used, mostly in radio technology. Radio Frequency (RF) power splitters are used to split or divide a single frequency line into several lines or pathways.

When the power splitters are used the other way round, it turns into a combiner where it combines more than one frequency line into a single line. Therefore, this power splitter is also a combiner. It is a reciprocal device.

Types of Power Splitters / Combiners: There are two types of power splitter/combiner.

1)  Resistive Power Splitter: These power splitters use resistors hence they are able to maintain the required impedance of the system. The use of resistors introduces a loss above the loss caused by splitting. However, it provides credible performance over a broad range of frequencies and maintains the required impedance match.

2)  Hybrid Power Splitter: These power splitters use transformers which result in a low level of power loss due to the splitting action. The major loss in this type of splitters is the loss that arises out of the splitting process as the same signal is shared a number of outputs.

Different types of power splitter/combiners are available in the trade, for example that can be used to split and/or combine signals in any ratio by selecting the correct values of the components used in their configuration.

There is some inherent power loss with the insertion of splitters/combiners in any system as no component is totally loss-free. These losses cannot be calculated in absolute numbers; however, it can be minimized.