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High computational and throughput requirements in modern ultrasound machines have restricted their internal design to algorithm-specific hardware with limited programmability. The authors have architected a programmable ultrasound processing system, Programmable Ultrasound Image Processor (PUIP), to facilitate engineering and clinical ultrasound innovations. Multiple high-performance multimedia processors were used to provide a computing power of 4 billion operations per second. Flexibility was achieved by making the system programmable and multimodal, e.g., B-mode, color flow, cine and Doppler data can be processed. They have successfully designed and implemented the PUIP to fit within an ultrasound machine. It provides a platform for rapid testing of new concepts in ultrasound processing and enables software upgrades for future technologies. Current and future clinical applications include extended fields of view, quantitative measurements, three-dimensional ultrasound reconstruction and visualization, adaptive persistence, speckle reduction, edge enhancement, image segmentation, and motion analysis. The PUIP is a significant step in the evolution of ultrasound machines toward more flexible and generalized systems bridging the gap between many innovative ideas and their clinical use in ultrasound machines.
Information Technology in Biomedicine, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:1 , Issue: 1 )
Date of Publication: March 1997