This paper presents a front-end application-specified integrated circuit (ASIC) integrated with a 2-D PZT matrix transducer that enables in-probe digitization with acceptable power dissipation for the next-generation endoscopic and catheter-based 3-D ultrasound imaging systems. To achieve power-efficient massively parallel analog-to-digital conversion (ADC) in a 2-D array, a 10-bit 30 MS/s beamforming ADC that merges the subarray beamforming and digitization functions in the charge domain is proposed. It eliminates the need for costly intermediate buffers, thus significantly reducing both power consumption and silicon area. Self-calibrated charge references are implemented in each subarray to further optimize the system-level power efficiency. High-speed datalinks are employed in combination with the subarray beamforming scheme to realize a 36-fold channel-count reduction and an aggregate output data rate of 6 Gb/s for a prototype receive array of 24 x 6 elements. The ASIC achieves a record power efficiency of 0.91 mW/element during receive. Its functionality has been demonstrated in both electrical and acoustic imaging experiments.

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Keywords 3-D ultrasound imaging, charge-sharing successive approximation register (SAR) analog-to-digital conversion (ADC), in-probe digitization, miniature probes, subarray beamforming, ultrasound front-end application-specified integrated circuit (ASIC).
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Journal IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits
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Chen, C, Chen, Z, Bera, D, Noothout, E, Chang, Z, Tan, M, … Pertijs, M.A.P. (2018). A Pitch-Matched Front-End ASIC With Integrated Subarray Beamforming ADC for Miniature 3-D Ultrasound Probes. IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits. doi:10.1109/JSSC.2018.2864295