Variable Attenuators

Variable attenuators are a type of radio frequency attenuator that permits the signal level to constantly change. Attenuators are devices that decrease the power of a signal without noticeably distorting its waveform. This protects circuitry from receiving a signal that’s too powerful.

Variable attenuators are used when the signal level needs to be able to change frequently. This is useful when you don't know exactly what the final desired signal range is or when accuracy is not a priority. Attenuators can be thought of as the opposite of signal amplifiers. An amplifier increases signal power (or amplitude) while an attenuator decreases it.

How do variable attenuators work?
The signal level of variable attenuators is altered either manually or remotely.
In manual variable attenuators, the signal level is changed by physically controlling the device, using something like an adjustable screw control.

If they are controlled remotely, a motor or PIN diode uses variable voltage to change the signal.

Types of variable attenuators
Variable attenuators come with PIN diodes or MESFETs (metal–semiconductor field-effect transistors) as resistors to modulate amplitude. They can use either balanced or unbalanced pi-pad or T-pad circuits.
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Part Details Brand Maximum Attenuation Maximum Frequency Maximum Insertion Loss Package Type Pin Count Dimensions Length Width Height Maximum Operating Supply Voltage Maximum Operating Temperature Minimum Operating Supply Voltage Minimum Operating Temperature Series
Analog Devices HMC472ALP4E, Voltage Variable Attenuator, 31.5dB, 3.8GHz, 24-Pin SMT
  • € 9.26
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Analog Devices 31.5dB 3.8GHz 3dB SMT 24 4.1 x 4.1 x 0.95mm 4.1mm 4.1mm 0.95mm 5 V +85 °C - -40 °C -
Analog Devices HMC624ALP4ETR, Voltage Variable Attenuator, 31.5dB, 6GHz, 24-Pin LFCSP
  • € 13.04
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Analog Devices 31.5dB 6GHz 3.8dB LFCSP 24 4.1 x 4.1 x 0.85mm 4.1mm 4.1mm 0.85mm 5 V +85 °C 3 V -40 °C -
Analog Devices HMC653, Voltage Variable Attenuator, 3dB, 50GHz, 6-Pin Chip Analog Devices 3dB 50GHz - Chip 6 0.45 x 0.42 x 0.1mm 0.45mm 0.42mm 0.1mm 5.2 V +85 °C - -55 °C -
Analog Devices HMC802ALP3E, Voltage Variable Attenuator, 20dB, 10GHz, 16-Pin SMT
  • € 7.74
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Analog Devices 20dB 10GHz 3.5dB SMT 16 3.1 x 3.1 x 0.95mm 3.1mm 3.1mm 0.95mm 5 V +85 °C - -40 °C -
Analog Devices HMC470ALP3E, Voltage Variable Attenuator, 31dB, 3GHz, 16-Pin LFCSP
  • € 15.42
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Analog Devices 31dB 3GHz 2dB LFCSP 16 3.1 x 3.1 x 0.85mm 3.1mm 3.1mm 0.85mm 5 V +85 °C 3 V -40 °C -
Analog Devices HMC652, Voltage Variable Attenuator, 2dB, 50GHz, 6-Pin Chip Analog Devices 2dB 50GHz - Chip 6 0.45 x 0.42 x 0.1mm 0.45mm 0.42mm 0.1mm 5.6 V +85 °C - -55 °C -
Analog Devices HMC655, Voltage Variable Attenuator, 6dB, 50GHz, 6-Pin Chip Analog Devices 6dB 50GHz - Chip 6 0.45 x 0.42 x 0.1mm 0.45mm 0.42mm 0.1mm 5.2 V +85 °C - -55 °C -
Analog Devices HMC973ALP3E, Voltage Variable Attenuator, 31dB, 5GHz, 16-Pin SMT
  • € 21.55
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Analog Devices 31dB 5GHz 5.6dB SMT 16 3.1 x 3.1 x 0.95mm 3.1mm 3.1mm 0.95mm 5 V +85 °C - -40 °C -
Analog Devices HMC470ALP3E, Voltage Variable Attenuator, 31dB, 3GHz, 16-Pin LFCSP Analog Devices 31dB 3GHz 2dB LFCSP 16 3.1 x 3.1 x 0.85mm 3.1mm 3.1mm 0.85mm 5 V +85 °C 3 V -40 °C -
Analog Devices HMC472ALP4E, Voltage Variable Attenuator, 31.5dB, 3.8GHz, 24-Pin SMT Analog Devices 31.5dB 3.8GHz 3dB SMT 24 4.1 x 4.1 x 0.95mm 4.1mm 4.1mm 0.95mm 5 V +85 °C - -40 °C -
Analog Devices HMC624ALP4ETR, Voltage Variable Attenuator, 31.5dB, 6GHz, 24-Pin LFCSP Analog Devices 31.5dB 6GHz 3.8dB LFCSP 24 4.1 x 4.1 x 0.85mm 4.1mm 4.1mm 0.85mm 5 V +85 °C 3 V -40 °C -
Analog Devices HMC652, Voltage Variable Attenuator, 2dB, 50GHz, 6-Pin Chip Analog Devices 2dB 50GHz - Chip 6 0.45 x 0.42 x 0.1mm 0.45mm 0.42mm 0.1mm 5.6 V +85 °C - -55 °C -
Analog Devices HMC653, Voltage Variable Attenuator, 3dB, 50GHz, 6-Pin Chip Analog Devices 3dB 50GHz - Chip 6 0.45 x 0.42 x 0.1mm 0.45mm 0.42mm 0.1mm 5.2 V +85 °C - -55 °C -
Analog Devices HMC655, Voltage Variable Attenuator, 6dB, 50GHz, 6-Pin Chip Analog Devices 6dB 50GHz - Chip 6 0.45 x 0.42 x 0.1mm 0.45mm 0.42mm 0.1mm 5.2 V +85 °C - -55 °C -
Analog Devices HMC802ALP3E, Voltage Variable Attenuator, 20dB, 10GHz, 16-Pin SMT Analog Devices 20dB 10GHz 3.5dB SMT 16 3.1 x 3.1 x 0.95mm 3.1mm 3.1mm 0.95mm 5 V +85 °C - -40 °C -
Analog Devices HMC973ALP3E, Voltage Variable Attenuator, 31dB, 5GHz, 16-Pin SMT Analog Devices 31dB 5GHz 5.6dB SMT 16 3.1 x 3.1 x 0.95mm 3.1mm 3.1mm 0.95mm 5 V +85 °C - -40 °C -
Texas Instruments LM1971M, Audio Attenuator, 62dB, 200kHz, 8-Pin SOIC Texas Instruments 62dB 200kHz - SOIC 8 5 x 3.988 x 1.501mm 5mm 3.988mm 1.501mm - +85 °C - -40 °C -
Analog Devices HMC306AMS10E, Digital Attenuator, 15.5dB, 3.8GHz, 10-Pin MSOP Analog Devices 15.5dB 3.8GHz 2.7dB MSOP 10 3.1 x 3.1 x 0.95mm 3.1mm 3.1mm 0.95mm 5 V +85 °C 3 V -40 °C -
Analog Devices Hittite HMC653LP2E, Fixed Attenuator, 25dB, 25GHz, 6-Pin SMT Analog Devices 25dB 25GHz 3dB SMT 6 2.05 x 2.05 x 1mm 2.05mm 2.05mm 1mm - +85 °C - -40 °C Hittite
Analog Devices Hittite HMC624ALP4E, Digital Attenuator, 31.5dB, 6GHz, 24-Pin SMT Analog Devices 31.5dB 6GHz 3.8dB SMT 24 4.1 x 4.1 x 0.95mm 4.1mm 4.1mm 0.95mm 5 V +85 °C - -40 °C Hittite
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