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This paper presents a design approach for wideband compensated and uncompensated Marchand baluns with stepped-impedance transformers. In order to obtain an equal-ripple bandpass response, conventional Chebyshev polynomials are modified to compensate the effect of the transfer function's dc poles. Unlike the available microwave filter design approaches, which usually require redundant elements, this approach leads to an optimum design by using the minimum number of equal length transmission line elements. Based on this design approach, both compensated and uncompensated Marchand baluns are studied. It is found that increasing difficulty arises when implementing a large bandwidth balun using the widely adopted compensated balun structure. Hence, the uncompensated balun structure becomes a better choice. To validate the proposed design approach, an uncompensated balun is designed on a standard two-sided printed circuit board. The measured results indicate that a return loss greater than 20 dB can be observed from 1 to 7.5 GHz. The phase imbalance is less than 4deg and the amplitude is less than 0.5 dB from dc to 7.2 GHz.