System-Level Design of an Integrated Receiver Front End for a Wireless Ultrasound Probe

Tommaso di Ianni, Martin Christian Hemmsen, Pere Llimos Muntal, Ivan Harald Holger Jørgensen, Jørgen Arendt Jensen

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In this paper, a system-level design is presented for an integrated receive circuit for a wireless ultrasound probe, which includes analog front ends and beamformation modules. This paper focuses on the investigation of the effects of architectural design choices on the image quality. The point spread function is simulated in Field II from 10 to 160 mm using a convex array transducer. A noise analysis is performed, and the minimum signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) requirements are derived for the low-noise amplifiers (LNAs) and A/D converters (ADCs) to fulfill the design specifications of a dynamic range of 60 dB and a penetration depth of 160 mm in the B-mode image. Six front-end implementations are compared using Nyquist-rate and modulator ADCs. The image quality is evaluated as a function of the depth in terms of lateral full-width at halfmaximum (FWHM) and −12-dB cystic resolution (CR). The designs that minimally satisfy the specifications are based on an 8-b 30-MSPS Nyquist converter and a single-bit third-order 240-MSPS modulator, with an SNR for the LNA in both cases equal to 64 dB. The mean lateral FWHM and CR are 2.4% and 7.1% lower for the architecture compared with the Nyquistrate one. However, the results generally show minimal differences between equivalent architectures. Advantages and drawbacks are finally discussed for the two families of converters.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)1935-1946
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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  • Portable ultrasound
  • Receiver front end
  • Synthetic aperture sequential beamforming (SASB)
  • Wireless probe


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