Ultrasound Open Platforms for Next-Generation Imaging Technique Development

Enrico Boni, Alfred C. H. Yu, Steven Freear, Jørgen Arendt Jensen, Piero Tortoli

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Open platform (OP) ultrasound systems are aimed primarily at the research community. They have been at the forefront of the development of synthetic aperture, plane wave, shear wave elastography and vector flow imaging. Such platforms are driven by a need for broad flexibility of parameters that are normally pre-set or fixed within clinical scanners. OP ultrasound scanners are defined to have three key features including customization of the transmit waveform, access to the pre-beamformed receive data and the ability to implement realtime imaging. In this paper, a formative discussion is given on the development of OPs from both the research community and the commercial sector. Both software and hardware based architectures are considered, and their specifications are compared in terms of resources and programmability. Software based platforms capable of real-time beamforming generally make use of scalable graphics processing unit (GPU) architectures, whereas a common feature of hardware based platforms is the use of fieldprogrammable gate array (FPGA) and digital signal processor (DSP) devices to provide additional on-board processing capacity. OPs with extended number of channels (>256) are also discussed in relation to their role in supporting 3-D imaging technique development. With the increasing maturity of OP ultrasound scanners, the pace of advancement in ultrasound imaging algorithms is poised to be accelerated.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)1078-1092
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. For more information, see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/


  • OP ultrasound scanner
  • Next-generation imaging technique
  • System architecture
  • Programmability


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