Mixers capable of translating one set of signal frequencies to another with minimal loss in the process are invaluable for high frequency receivers and transmitters. Mixers such as the diode-based MAC family of RF/microwave mixers from Mini-Circuits are currently usable at RF and local oscillator (LO) frequencies through 12 GHz. They are supplied in hermetic ceramic packages that isolate the mixers from the ravages of the outside environment, helping to promote high reliability and long operating lifetimes. The mixers measure just 0.30 x 0.25 x 0.06 in. (7.62 x 6.35 x 1.52 mm), enabling their use in small areas within printed-circuit boards (PCBs). In spite of the ceramic circuitry and protection via hermetic sealing, these are low-cost componentspriced typically less than $8 each, depending upon the frequency range. To learn more, click here.