A Pitch-Matched Transceiver ASIC With Shared Hybrid Beamforming ADC for High-Frame-Rate 3-D Intracardiac Echocardiography

Yannick M. Hopf, Boudewine W. Ossenkoppele, Mehdi Soozande, Emile Noothout, Zu Yao Chang, Chao Chen, Hendrik J. Vos, Johan G. Bosch, Martin D. Verweij, Nico de Jong, Michiel A.P. Pertijs

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In this article, an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) for 3-D, high-frame-rate ultrasound imaging probes is presented. The design is the first to combine element-level, high-voltage (HV) transmitters and analog front-ends, subarray beamforming, and in-probe digitization in a scalable fashion for catheter-based probes. The integration challenge is met by a hybrid analog-to-digital converter (ADC), combining an efficient charge-sharing successive approximation register (SAR) first stage and a compact single-slope (SS) second stage. Application in large ultrasound imaging arrays is facilitated by directly interfacing the ADC with a charge-domain subarray beamformer, locally calibrating interstage gain errors and generating the SAR reference using a power-efficient local reference generator. Additional hardware-sharing between neighboring channels ultimately leads to the lowest reported area and power consumption across miniature ultrasound probe ADCs. A pitch-matched design is further enabled by an efficient split between the core circuitry and a periphery block, the latter including a datalink performing clock data recovery (CDR) and time-division multiplexing (TDM), which leads to a 12-fold total channel count reduction. A prototype of $8{\times }9$ elements was fabricated in a TSMC 0.18- $\mu \text{m}$ HV BCD technology and a 2-D PZT transducer matrix with a pitch of $160 \mu \text{m}$ , and a center frequency of 6 MHz was manufactured on the chip. The imaging device operates at up to 1000 volumes/s, generates 65-V transmit pulses, and has a receive power consumption of only 1.23 mW/element. The functionality has been demonstrated electrically as well as in acoustic and imaging experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3228-3242
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Accepted Author Manuscript


  • 3-D ultrasound
  • Array signal processing
  • Catheters
  • high-frame-rate
  • high-voltage (HV) transmitter
  • hybrid analog-to-digital converter (ADC)
  • Imaging
  • intracardiac echocardiography (ICE)
  • Probes
  • subarray beamforming
  • successive approximation register (SAR)/single-slope (SS) ADC
  • Transducers
  • Transmitters
  • Ultrasonic imaging
  • ultrasound application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC)


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