741 Pin Compatible Equivalent Op Amps

This article is intended for electronics students of all levels from GCSE to Degree. It might also prove to be a useful guide for lecturers and teachers.

Operational amplifier chips have been getting very expensive in recent times, but this is probably because hobbyists and educators are not aware of equivalents. If you rely too much on the same chip and sellers, they will sometimes artificially hike up their prices. You can make your budget stretch further if you look for cheaper equivalents.

The Integrated Circuits mentioned on this page are 8-pin PDIP consisting of a single op amp. Sometimes teachers and students do not realise that these op amps are based on the earlier 741 design and consequently they have the same pin layouts.

If you were using an op amp for simple educational experiments to calculate the gain, or perhaps for simple basic op amp circuits, then many cheaper equivalents would perform just as effectively, and save you money.

Here is my list that I have compiled of my favourite chips that are readily available and affordable. If you find any 741 compatible chips that are cheaper then feel free to drop me an email.


The LM741 is a classic op amp chip and as you can see it has a very simple and standard layout that is identical to all the chips mentioned on this page. This is a general purpose amplifier utilising bi-polar transistor technology.

These come in 3 flavours , the 741 and 741 A can operate on split voltage rails of +22 V and -22 V, whilst the LM741C requires +18 V and -18 V.

Even with all the modern day equivalents the LM741CN is still a very cost effective chip at around 54p each or 32p when you buy 100 from Farnell.

LM741 Datasheet


CA3140E is also pin identical to the LM741 as you can see. There is a minor difference in that pin 8 is for the strobe function which controls the output. This is generally not used for basic op amp circuits.  The CA3140E is a direct replacement for the 741 and was designed with this purpose in mind.

The input and output stages of this chip use MOSFET transistors, hence this chip is based on Bi-MOS technology. The maximum voltage between V+ and V- is rated at 36 V.

CA3140 Datasheet


TL081CN is another favourite of mine because it's affordable. You can pick one of these up from Maplin for around 62p - whilst you're on your way to the chip shop.

This is a general purpose operational amplifier with a JFET input - which is even better - because its input impedance will be high. This means you could connect the inputs directly to a signal source without changing the source signal. It's great for sensors and audio circuits alike. Your basic op amp circuit configurations will be the same and you will be using the same formulas.

TL081 Datasheet


TL061CP is a great op amp chip by Texas Instruments. Just like the TL081CN it has a JFET input stage.  It's a general purpose operational amplifier and could be used to replace the 741. You can get these from RS at very affordable prices.

TL061CP Datasheet


TL071CP is also another great general purpose operational amplifier by Texas Instruments. It has JFET inputs and is pin compatible with the 741.

TL071CP Datasheet


LF351N is a great operational amplifier by ST Microelectronics. It has JFET inputs just as the previous one. This one is stated to have a wide bandwidth which is even better. The maximum supply voltage between the pins is +18 V and -18 V.

This is a lovely operational amplifier chip that I've used many times and is very affordable. You could get 10 chips for around £2.50 on eBay and it comes directly from China. 

LF351N Datasheet


MC33171N by ST Microelectronics is a bi-polar general purpose operational amplifier. This is one of my favourites as it is almost identical to the old 741 in technology. This one is the most affordable I could find from Farnell at just 38p each or 29p when you buy 100.  As cheap as chips as they say...

MC33171 Datasheet


Author: Peter J. Vis