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State-of-the-art 3-D medical ultrasound imaging requires transmitting and receiving ultrasound using a 2-D array of ultrasound transducers with hundreds or thousands of elements. A tight combination of the transducer array with integrated circuitry eliminates bulky cables connecting the elements of the transducer array to a separate system of electronics. Furthermore, preamplifiers located close to the array can lead to improved receive sensitivity. A combined IC and transducer array can lead to a portable, high-performance, and inexpensive 3-D ultrasound imaging system. This paper presents an IC flip-chip bonded to a 16times16-element capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducer (CMUT) array for 3-D ultrasound imaging. The IC includes a transmit beamformer that generates 25-V unipolar pulses with programmable focusing delays to 224 of the 256 transducer elements. One-shot circuits allow adjustment of the pulse widths for different ultrasound transducer center frequencies. For receiving reflected ultrasound signals, the IC uses the 32-elements along the array diagonals. The IC provides each receiving element with a low-noise 25-MHz-bandwidth transimpedance amplifier. Using a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) clocked at 100 MHz to operate the IC, the IC generated properly timed transmit pulses with 5-ns accuracy. With the IC flip-chip bonded to a CMUT array, we show that the IC can produce steered and focused ultrasound beams. We present 2-D and 3-D images of a wire phantom and 2-D orthogonal cross-sectional images (Bscans) of a latex heart phantom.
Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:56 , Issue: 10 )
Date of Publication: October 2009