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Proceedings Paper

Medical ultrasound digital beamforming on a massively parallel processing array platform
Author(s): Paul Chen; Mike Butts; Brad Budlong
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Paper Abstract

Digital beamforming has been widely used in modern medical ultrasound instruments. Flexibility is the key advantage of a digital beamformer over the traditional analog approach. Unlike analog delay lines, digital delay can be programmed to implement new ways of beam shaping and beam steering without hardware modification. Digital beamformers can also be focused dynamically by tracking the depth and focusing the receive beam as the depth increases. By constantly updating an element weight table, a digital beamformer can dynamically increase aperture size with depth to maintain constant lateral resolution and reduce sidelobe noise. Because ultrasound digital beamformers have high I/O bandwidth and processing requirements, traditionally they have been implemented using ASICs or FPGAs that are costly both in time and in money. This paper introduces a sample implementation of a digital beamformer that is programmed in software on a Massively Parallel Processor Array (MPPA). The system consists of a host PC and a PCI Express-based beamformer accelerator with an Ambric Am2045 MPPA chip and 512 Mbytes of external memory. The Am2045 has 336 asynchronous RISCDSP processors that communicate through a configurable structure of channels, using a self-synchronizing communication protocol.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 March 2008
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6920, Medical Imaging 2008: Ultrasonic Imaging and Signal Processing, 692003 (10 March 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.770689
Show Author Affiliations
Paul Chen, Ambric, Inc. (United States)
Mike Butts, Ambric, Inc. (United States)
Brad Budlong, Ambric, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6920:
Medical Imaging 2008: Ultrasonic Imaging and Signal Processing
Stephen A. McAleavey; Jan D'hooge, Editor(s)

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