• Wide dynamic range
• Wide gain range
• Exponential (dB) gain control
• Low distortion: <0.01% (2180A)
• Wide gain-bandwidth
• Dual gain-control ports (pos/neg)
• Pin-compatible with 2150-series

Datasheet Download

Datasheet Download
2180 Series Datasheet (231 kB)
Pre-trimmed Blackmer VCAs


• Faders
• Panners
• Compressors
• Expanders
• Equalizers
• Filters
• Oscillators
• Automation systems


THAT 2180-series pre-trimmed Blackmer voltage controlled amplifiers (VCAs) ICs are high-performance current-in/current-out devices with two opposing-polarity, voltage-sensitive control ports. They offer wide-range exponential control of gain and attenuation with low signal distortion. The parts are trimmed during wafer processing to minimize THD and control-voltage feedthrough. After packaging, the parts are tested and graded based on the degree to which the trim survived packaging. No further adjustment is required to achieve the guaranteed distortion and feedthrough performance.

Key Specifications(see 2180 Series datasheetfor complete specifications)
2180A Typical
2180B Typical
2180C Typical
Dynamic Range
Gain Range
< -100 to > +40
Total Harmonic Distortion
1V 0dB gain
Control Constant (both positive & negative- sense control available
± 6.1
Supply Current
Power Supply Voltage
± 4 ~ ± 18
Output Noise
0 dB gain
Grade % THD at 1V 0 dB gain Package Order Number Pricing (1000) Min Order Quantity Reference
2180 A 0.005 Typ. 0.01 Max. 8 pin SIP 2180AL08-U $7.49 25 Request Samples
B 0.01 Typ. 0.02 Max. 2180BL08-U $4.80 25
C 0.03 Typ. 0.05 Max 2180CL08-U $4.02 25
2180 Demo Board 2180-DEMO $100.00 1
All 2180-Series parts areRoHS compliant. Minimum order quantity (MOQ) is one tube full. Parts must be ordered in multiples of the MOQ. Samples are available to qualified applicants. Pricing is subject to change.

Design Notes(as PDF files)

Design Note 00A
Basic Compressor/Limiter Design (113k)

Design Note 01A
The Mathematics of Log-Based Dynamic Processors (64k)

Design Note 02
Digital Gain Control with Analog VCAs (106k)

Design Note 03
Signal Limiter for Power Amplifiers (95k)

Design Note 04
Improving Loudspeaker Signal Handling Capability (217k)

Design Note 05
A Low Parts Count, Two-Slope Compressor (78k)

Design Note 100
A Fully Adjustable Noise Gate (69k)

Design Note 102
Adjustable Ducker using the THAT 4301 (76k)

Design Note103/104
   Improving VCA Performance I (56k)

Design Note 106
What to look for when the Distortion in 2180s Doesn’t Match the Specs (57k)

Design Note 107/111
A Simple Effective Soft-Knee Compressor / Limiter (81k)

Design Note 110
Improving VCA Performance II and III (73k)

Design Note 112
LED Bar-Graph Compression Indicator (83k)

Design Note 115
Fully Adjustable Compressor/Limiter (46k)

Design Note 116
Techniques for Stereo Volume Control (126k)

Design Note 117
Input Limited for ADCs (120k)

Design Note 118
High Performance Stereo AGC (90k)

Design Note 119
Wide Ranging dB Meter (177k)

Design Note 120
VCAs in a Pan Potentiometer Application (127k)

Design Note 122
5.1 Channel Volume Control (67k)

Design Note 125
The “One Knob Squeezer”(90k)

Design Note 128
What’s a PTAT Temp. Coefficient, & Where Does It Come From?  (64k)

Design Note 129
A Low-Cost VCA Limiter (47k)

Design Note 130
VCA-Controlled 1st Order State Variable Filter (174k)

Design Note 131
Dealing with the PTAT Coefficient (75k)

Design Note 132
Alternate Method of Indicating Compression (52k)

Design Note 137
Substituting THAT 218x VCAs for 215x VCAs in Existing Designs (68k)

Analog Secrets Your Mother Never Told You

Originally presented at the 123rd AES Convention, this seminar provides tips and techniques to achieve optimal performance in the analog signal path. Topics covered range from inputs (balanced line and mic level) to outputs (balanced to single-ended), and include analog signal processing (VCAs, RMS detection, and Analog Engines).
Related Products
Other Voltage Controlled Amplifiers (VCAs)
THAT 2181 Series Trimmable Blackmer VCAs 2181 Series Datasheet
THAT 2162 Dual Blackmer VCAs 2162 Datasheet
Analog Engine® Dynamics Processors
THAT 4305 Low-cost basic Analog Engine for dual supply voltages 4305 Datasheet
THAT 4320 Low-voltage, low-power versatile Analog Engine for single supply voltages 4320 Datasheet
THAT 4315 Low-voltage, low-power basic Analog Engine for single supply voltages 4315 Datasheet
THAT 4316 Very Low-voltage, low-power basic Analog Engine for single supply voltages 4316 Datasheet

2180 Series Device Model
Our SPICE macro models allow modeling of the important parameters of our ICs.

2180 Series Demo Board
– The THAT 2180 Series Demonstration System (US$100) allows the engineer to test the performance of a THAT2180 quickly and easily. The 2180 Demo Board is self-contained circuit board with XLR connectors for signal input and output and a 3-pin header for connection to an external regulated DC power supply (not included). See the 2180 Demo Board Datasheet for more information.

Harsh Environment Packaging
– TT Semiconductor repackages THAT Corporation’s IC products in ruggidized plastic for the medical, aerospace, defense, and heavy industrial marketplaces.

The History of VCAs
– THAT Blackmer® VCAs are the successors to the original dbx® line of VCAs. Their development for professional audio use has a long history, and can provide some insight into the care and feeding of these essential devices.

2180L Material Data Declaration Sheet (SIP Package)
Material Data Declaration Sheets (MDDS) disclose the hazardous materials in our integrated circuits as required by the European RoHS directive.