The SARUS scanner (Synthetic Aperture Real-time
Ultrasound System) for research purposes is described. It can
acquire individual channel data for multi-element transducers for
a couple of heart beats, and is capable of transmitting any kind
of excitation. It houses generous and flexible processing resources
that can be reprogrammed and tailored to many kinds of
algorithms. The 64 boards in the system house 16 transmit and 16
receive channels each, where data can be stored in 2 GB of RAM
and processed using four Virtex 4FX100 and one FX60 FPGAs.
The VHDL code can acquire data for 16 channels and perform
real-time processing for four channels per board. The receive
processing chain consists of three FPGAs. The beamformer
FPGA houses 24 focusing units (6 x 4-way) each working in
parallel at 220 MHz for parallel four-channel beamforming. The
fully parametric focusing unit calculates delays and apodization
values in real time in 3D space and can produce 630 million
complex samples per second. The processing can, thus, beamform
192 image lines consisting of 1024 complex samples for each
emission at a rate of 3200 frames a second yielding full nonrecursive
synthetic aperture B-mode imaging at more than 30
high resolution images a second.
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