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Tx/Rx chipset targets portable ultrasound systems

Posted: 15 Sep 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:chipset  ultrasound  portable 

National Semiconductor Corp. reveals an eight-channel ultrasound transmit/receive PowerWise chipset specifically designed for portable ultrasound systems used in hospitals, clinics, ambulances and remote point-of-care facilities.

The PowerWise chipset's circuit architecture enables the design of both hand-carried and handheld units that deliver longer battery life and imaging performance comparable to larger console systems.

The chipset integrates the receive analogue front end (AFE), transmit/receive switch, transmit pulser and configurable transmit beamformer. It enables system designers to build lightweight 128-channel portable ultrasound systems with enhanced image quality and diagnostics in a small footprint.

National supports the chipset with comprehensive evaluation kits, reference schematics and tools that help customers make detailed chip performance evaluations and accelerate time-to-market.

The chipset includes four ICs that work together. For example, the transmit beamformer can be configured to calibrate the board trace delay mismatch and pulser delay mismatch. This significantly improves the distortion performance and enables second harmonic imaging. The transmit/receive switch gives system designers the flexibility to trade-off power versus performance by selecting different bias current settings.

The AFE architecture provides imaging quality and B-mode power consumption that the company claims is 10 per cent lower than the closest comparable AFE. It claims the industry's highest resolution digital variable gain amplifier (DVGA) and a low-power continuous-time sigma-delta ADC. The DVGA offers several advantages over traditional analogue VGAs such as better channel-to-channel matching and higher spectral performance. The CTSD ADC provides inherent brickwall anti-aliasing filtering in comparison to higher power consuming, low-order anti-aliasing filters found in other AFEs that use conventional pipeline ADCs.

National offers a full signal path solution for portable ultrasound systems, including clocking devices and power management ICs.

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