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An X-band core chip is designed and fabricated in 0.18- CMOS technology, which can significantly reduce the monolithic microwave integrated circuit count required for realizing an active beam-former T/R module. The core chip consists of two RX/TX paths, each of which includes a 6-b phase shifter, a 6-b attenuator, along with two input and output amplifiers. A new architecture for realizing such a core chip system and a low loss circuit for 5.625° phase shift block are proposed. The overall rms phase and gain errors are better than 2° and 0.25 dB, respectively, in both RX/TX paths. The gain of each path is around 12 dB, while the output 1-dB compression point is higher than 10 dBm over the band of interest.