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Using software for beamforming in ultrasound systems provides high flexibility, and the large number of computations required in a software-based system can be performed in real time on a PC. However, the very large data transfer rate required from the ultrasound front-end to the PC host for real-time operation is a bottleneck which cannot be overcome without appropriate compression. Previous studies have examined JPEG compression of ultrasound RF channel data, but the schemes do not exploit temporal redundancy between adjacent frames. This study utilized MPEG technology to process the ultrasound RF data to increase the compression efficiency. Our results indicate that MPEG compression generally provides a better compression ratio than does JPEG compression. As an example, the compression ratio of MPEG compression in an 8-bit channel A/D data under 5 μm interframe displacement is smaller than 0.13, thus allowing real-time data transfer requirements to be met. Moreover, the compression efficiency for motions in different directions is shown to be highly dependent on the frame-to-frame correlation.