PIN Diode Fundamentals

A PIN diode is a semiconductor device that operates as a variable resistor at RF and microwave frequencies. The resistance value of the PIN diode is determined only by the forward biased dc current. In switch and attenuator applications, the PIN diode should ideally control the RF signal level without introducing distortion which might change the shape of the RF signal. An important additional feature of the PIN diode is its ability to control large RF signals while using much smaller levels of dc excitation.