A Pitch-Matched Low-Noise Analog Front-End With Accurate Continuous Time-Gain Compensation for High-Density Ultrasound Transducer Arrays

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This article presents a compact analog front-end (AFE) circuit for ultrasound receivers with linear-in-dB continuous gain control for time-gain compensation (TGC). The AFE consists of two variable-gain stages, both of which employ a novel complementary current-steering network (CCSN) as the interpolator to realize continuously variable gain. The first stage is a trans-impedance amplifier (TIA) with a hardware-sharing inverter-based input stage to save power and area. The TIA's output couples capacitively to the second stage, which is a class-AB current amplifier (CA). The AFE is integrated into an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) in a 180-nm high-voltage BCD technology and assembled with a 100 μm-pitch PZT transducer array of 8 × 8 elements. Both electrical and acoustic measurements show that the AFE achieves a linear-in-dB gain error below ±0.4 dB within a 36-dB gain range, which is > 2 × better than the prior art. Per channel, the AFE occupies 0.025 mm2 area, consumes 0.8 mW power, and achieves an input-referred noise density of 1.31 pA/√Hz.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1693-1705
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC)
  • Capacitors
  • Gain
  • Imaging
  • Interpolation
  • pitch-matched analog front-end (AFE)
  • time-gain compensation (TGC)
  • Trajectory
  • trans-impedance amplifier (TIA)
  • Transducers
  • Ultrasonic imaging
  • ultrasound imaging
  • variable gain amplifier (VGA)

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