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We have researched a compact medical accelerator with low investment and running cost for the popularization of heavy ion cancer therapy. As the first step, the compact injector system has been investigated for a Heavy Ion Medical Accelerator in Chiba at National Institute of Radiological Sciences. The proposed new injector system consists of a 6 MeV/u interdigital H-mode (IH) linac of 3.1 m long and a 18 GHz superconducting electron cyclotron resonance (ECR) (SC–ECR) ion source. The IH linac with high power efficiency is appropriate to a medical and industrial injector system. Its beam trajectory was simulated and a prototype has been constructed. The SC–ECR ion source has been designed to realize lightweight and low power consumption and the mirror field distribution was estimated. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.