This paper presents the design, fabrication, and experimental evaluation of a prototype lead zirconium titanate (PZT) matrix transducer with an integrated receive ASIC, as a proof of concept for a miniature three-dimensional (3-D) transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) probe. It consists of an array of 9 × 12 piezoelectric elements mounted on the ASIC via an integration scheme that involves direct electrical connections between a bond-pad array on the ASIC and the transducer elements. The ASIC addresses the critical challenge of reducing cable count, and includes front-end amplifiers with adjustable gains and microbeamformer circuits that locally process and combine echo signals received by the elements of each 3 × 3 subarray. Thus, an order-of-magnitude reduction in the number of receive channels is achieved. Dedicated circuit techniques are employed to meet the strict space and power constraints of TEE probes. The ASIC has been fabricated in a standard 0.18-μm CMOS process and consumes only 0.44 mW/channel. The prototype has been acoustically characterized in a water tank. The ASIC allows the array to be presteered across ±37° while achieving an overall dynamic range of 77 dB. Both the measured characteristics of the individual transducer elements and the performance of the ASIC are in good agreement with expectations, demonstrating the effectiveness of the proposed techniques.
- Application specific integrated circuits
- Three-dimensional displays