The function of an attenuator is opposite of an amplifier. An amplifier is to increase the low-level of input signal to high-level of output signal. On the other hand, an attenuator is a device that can weaken the high-level input of a signal generator. According to an article known as Passive Attenuators (2018), an attenuator can reduce the amount of power transfer to the load by a variable amount or in a series of known as switchable steps, to provide impedance matching of oscillators or amplifiers to decrease the effects of improper input/output terminations. Passive Attenuators (2018) also stated that attenuators are commonly used in communication and transmission line applications to weaken a stronger signal.
Insertion loss is the loss of signal power when traveling in and out of a circuit. The loss is usually expressed in decibels (dB).The insertion loss of a circuit consisting attenuator is calculated with a formula of 20log10 V_1/V_2 or 20log10 N , the unit is express in dB. N is the ratio of V1 to V2. V¬1 is the voltage across the load, RL while V¬2 is the voltage across the load with an attenuator in the circuit