Design Con 2015

Highly-integrated octal ultrasound pulsar simplifies design for ultrasound equipment

August 12, 2014

Toni_McConnel-August 12, 2014

The cost and size of ultrasound imaging machines can be reduced with the The STHV800 8-channel ultrasound pulser from STMicroelectronics reduces the cost and size of ultrasound imaging machines. ST's SOI-BCD6 process technology enables the combination of low-voltage CMOS logic, precise analog circuitry, and robust power stages on the same chip, offering an unprecedented level of integration, according to the company. The monolithic, high-voltage, high-speed pulse generator with eight independent channels integrates a controller-logic interface circuit, level translators, self-biased high-voltage MOSFET gate drivers, noise-blocking diodes, and high-power P-channel and N-channel MOSFETs for the output stages of each channel.


Each channel contains two output stages, one for pulsed wave (PW) and one for continuous wave (CW) operation, together with an integrated Transmit/Receive switch to guarantee effective decoupling during the transmission phase. In addition to being the most highly-integrated 8-channel pulser available on the market, the STHV800’s fast and symmetrical output voltage transitions allow sharp images to be obtained without the need for complex and costly image-processing algorithms.

As a result, the Bill-of-Materials and pc-board footprint can be simultaneously reduced, allowing ultrasound imagers to be made smaller and less expensive without sacrificing quality and performance. In turn, more cost-effective, hand-held echography systems will enable doctors to perform safe, radiation-free checks such as ultrasound prenatal scans, which are routine procedures in industrialized countries, in an increasing range of rural and emerging economies.

Key features of the STHV800 include an input voltage range of 1.5 - 3.6V and an output voltage up to ±90V,the ability to control pulses with durations as low as 10ns for maximum image sharpness, less than 10ps jitter to ensure accurate frequency response in ultrasound Doppler analysis, low second harmonic distortion (less than -40dB) for higher image quality, and a design that does not need external reference capacitors.

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