Analog Gradient Beamformer for a Wireless Ultrasound Scanner.

Tommaso di Ianni, Martin Christian Hemmsen, Jan Peter Bagge, Henrik Jensen, Nitsan Vardi, Jørgen Arendt Jensen

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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 3.75 MHz 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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE
EditorsNeb Duric, Brecht Heyde
Number of pages8
PublisherSPIE - International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication date2016
Article number979010
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventSPIE Medical Imaging 2016: Ultrasonic Imaging and Tomography - Town & Country Resort and Convention Cente, San Diego, United States
Duration: 27 Feb 20163 Mar 2016
Conference number: 9790


ConferenceSPIE Medical Imaging 2016
LocationTown & Country Resort and Convention Cente
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego
Internet address


  • Analog beamformer
  • Portable scanner
  • Synthetic Aperture Sequential Beamforming
  • Point-of-care ultrasound


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