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A real-time digital beamformer for high-frequency ( >20 MHz) linear ultrasonic arrays has been developed. The system can handle up to 64-element linear array transducers and excite 16 channels and receive simultaneously at 100 MHz sampling frequency with 8-bit precision. Radio frequency (RF) signals are digitized, delayed, and summed through a real-time digital beamformer, which is implanted using a field programmable gate array (FPGA). Using fractional delay filters, fine delays as small as 2 ns can be implemented. A frame rate of 30 frames per second is achieved. Wire phantom (20 μm tungsten) images were obtained and -6 dB axial and lateral widths were measured. The results showed that, using a 30 MHz, 48-element array with a pitch of 100 μm produced a -6 dB width of 68 μm in the axial and 370 μm in the lateral direction at 6.4 mm range. Images from an excised rabbit eye sample also were acquired, and fine anatomical structures, such as the cornea and lens, were resolved.
Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:53 , Issue: 2 )
Date of Publication: Feb. 2006