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Proceedings Paper

Analog gradient beamformer for a wireless ultrasound scanner
Author(s): Tommaso Di Ianni; Martin Christian Hemmsen; Jan Bagge; Henrik Jensen; Nitsan Vardi; Jørgen Arendt Jensen
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Paper Abstract

This paper presents a novel beamformer architecture for a low-cost receiver front-end, and investigates if the image quality can be maintained. The system is oriented to the development of a hand-held wireless ultrasound probe based on Synthetic Aperture Sequential Beamforming, and has the advantage of effectively reducing circuit complexity and power dissipation. The array of transducers is divided into sub-apertures, in which the signals from the single channels are aligned through a network of cascaded gradient delays, and summed in the analog domain before A/D conversion. The delay values are quantized to simplify the shifting unit, and a single A/D converter is needed for each sub-aperture yielding a compact, low-power architecture that can be integrated in a single chip. A simulation study was performed using a 3:75MHz convex array, and the point spread function (PSF) for different configurations was evaluated in terms of lateral full-width-at-half-maximum (FWHM) and −20 dB cystic resolution (CR). Several setups were simulated varying the sub-aperture size N and the quantization step, and design constraints were obtained comparing the PSF to that of an ideal non-quantized system. The PSF is shown for N = 32 with a quantization step of 12 ns. For this configuration, the FWHM is degraded by 0.25% and the CR is 8.70% lower compared to the ideal situation. The results demonstrate that the gradient beamformer provides an adequate image quality, and open the way to a fully-integrated chip for a compact, low-cost, wireless ultrasound probe.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 April 2016
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 9790, Medical Imaging 2016: Ultrasonic Imaging and Tomography, 979010 (1 April 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2216238
Show Author Affiliations
Tommaso Di Ianni, Technical Univ. of Denmark (Denmark)
Martin Christian Hemmsen, Technical Univ. of Denmark (Denmark)
Jan Bagge, BK Ultrasound (Denmark)
Henrik Jensen, BK Ultrasound (Denmark)
Nitsan Vardi, BK Ultrasound (Denmark)
Jørgen Arendt Jensen, Technical Univ. of Denmark (Denmark)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9790:
Medical Imaging 2016: Ultrasonic Imaging and Tomography
Neb Duric; Brecht Heyde, Editor(s)

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