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  September 1998  -  For immediate release ...  

THAT Awarded Patent for Unique IC Trimming Method


Marlborough, MA – THAT Corporation announces the issue of its U.S. Patent No. 5,663,684 covering an on-chip, temperature-compensated IC trimming technique. The patent, titled "Wafer-stage Adjustment for Compensating for Mismatches in Temperature Dependent IC Components", was issued to Gary K. Hebert, Chief Technology Officer for THAT Corporation. The invention provides means of correcting, prior to packaging of an integrated circuit, mismatches between temperature-dependent circuit elements on the IC.

The development is used in THAT’s 2180-series of voltage-controlled amplifiers ("VCAs"), components widely used by the professional audio industry in audio compressors, limiters, gates, automatic gain control devices, noise-reduction products, and other dynamics processors. The THAT 2180 VCAs are known for their ability to maintain low distortion with no external distortion trim, and to maintain their distortion performance over temperature, both characteristics resulting directly from Hebert’s invention.

Traditionally, low distortion in VCAs has been achieved by manually adjusting an external control, a step which adds labor and parts cost, and is susceptible to a number of external sources of error. In either case, whether adjusted manually or at the wafer stage, the settings may provide correction only over a narrow temperature range, or at a single device operating point. The Hebert invention overcomes these limitations by providing a bipolar adjustment signal on the IC itself which is independent of both temperature and power supply voltages, thereby allowing wafer-stage trimming that is both effective and insensitive to common electrical and environmental changes.

About THAT Corporation
THAT Corporation, founded in 1989, designs, manufactures, and sells high-performance analog integrated circuits for professional audio manufacturers. THAT’s ICs include InGenius® input and OutSmarts® output stages, low-noise preamplifiers, Analog Engine® processors, and its original line of Blackmer® voltage-controlled amplifiers (VCAs) – all used throughout the pro audio industry. Under the dbx-tv® brand name, THAT also licenses patents, trademarks, and other intellectual property to the TV broadcast and reception industries. These include Total Sonics™, Total Surround™, and Total Volume™, audio enhancement technology and digital implementations of worldwide legacy TV audio receiver standards. The company is headquartered in Milford, Massachusetts, with offices in Milpitas, California.

For more information, contact:
  THAT Corporation, 45 Sumner Street, Milford, MA 01757-1656 , USA
  Telephone: +1 (508) 478-9200; Fax +1 (508) 478-0990

Editorial Contact:
  Ken Nevard, IC Marketing Manager
  Tel: +1 (508) 478-9200 x108


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