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AFEs target handheld ultrasound systems

Posted: 06 Oct 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:AFE  ultrasound systems  variable gain amplifiers  analogue to digital converters 

Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) has introduced two integrated analogue front ends (AFEs) for handheld ultrasound systems. TI says that the newest members of its AFE family for medical ultrasound, the 16-channel AFE5851 and the 8-channel AFE5801, bring breakthrough power efficiency and smaller footprint to support the new market for handheld ultrasound systems that can fit in a doctor's pocket.

AFE5851 features 39 mW/channel at 32.5 MSPS and integrates 16 variable gain amplifiers (VGAs) and eight 12-bit, 65-MSPS analogue to digital converters (ADCs). The ADC is shared between two VGAs and each VGA differential output is sampled at alternate clock cycles to optimise power efficiency. The ADC has scalable power consumption to further lower power use with lower sampling rates. The AFE5851's high channel count and low-power features allow for increased channel density in handheld ultrasound systems.

AFE5801 features 50 mW/channel at 30 MSPS and 58 mW/channel at 50 MSPS and integrates eight VGAs and eight 12-bit, 65 MSPS high-speed ADCs with LVDS data outputs.

Both the AFE5851 and AFE5801 can be preceded by a transformer or an off-chip low-noise amplifier, which can be located on the probe. TI claims that this architecture results in at least 40 per cent power savings when compared to other devices currently available on the market.

Available in a 9 mm x 9 mm package, the two new AFE58xx devices are the smallest analogue front ends currently available in the market with a 70 per cent smaller footprint than competitive analogue front ends for ultrasound systems and 40 per cent smaller than previously introduced devices in the AFE58xx family.

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