This paper presents an area- and power-efficient application-specified integrated circuit (ASIC) for 3-D forward-looking intravascular ultrasound imaging. The ASIC is intended to be mounted at the tip of a catheter, and has a circular active area with a diameter of 1.5 mm on the top of which a 2-D array of piezoelectric transducer elements is integrated. It requires only four micro-coaxial cables to interface 64 receive (RX) elements and 16 transmit (TX) elements with an imaging system. To do so, it routes high-voltage (HV) pulses generated by the system to selected TX elements using compact HV switch circuits, digitizes the resulting echo signal received by a selected RX element locally, and employs an energy-efficient load-modulation datalink to return the digitized echo signal to the system in a robust manner. A multi-functional command line provides the required sampling clock, configuration data, and supply voltage for the HV switches. The ASIC has been realized in a 0.18-μm HV CMOS technology and consumes only 9.1 mW. Electrical measurements show 28-V HV switching and RX digitization with a 16-MHz bandwidth and 53-dB dynamic range. Acoustical measurements demonstrate successful pulse transmission and reception. Finally, a 3-D ultrasound image of a three-needle phantom is generated to demonstrate the imaging capability.

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Keywords Cable-count reduction, Catheters, high-voltage (HV) switching, Imaging, Impedance, intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) imaging, piezoelectrical transducer, receive digitization, Switches, Transducers, Ultrasonic imaging, Wires
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Journal IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits
Tan, M. (Mingliang), Chen, C, Chen, Z, Janjic, J, Daeichin, V, Chang, Z, … Pertijs, M.A.P. (2018). A Front-End ASIC With High-Voltage Transmit Switching and Receive Digitization for 3-D Forward-Looking Intravascular Ultrasound Imaging. IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits. doi:10.1109/JSSC.2018.2828826