This article quantitatively analyzes the impact of bit errors in digitized RF data on ultrasound image quality. The quality of B-mode images in both linear array and phased array imaging is evaluated by means of three objective image quality metrics: peak signal-to-noise ratio, structural similarity index, and contrast-to-noise ratio, when bit errors are introduced to the RF data with different bit-error rates (BERs). The effectiveness of coding schemes for forward error detection and correction to improve the image quality is also studied. The results show that ultrasound imaging is inherently resilient to high BER. The image quality suffers unnoticeable degradation for BER lower than 1E-6. Simple 1-bit parity coding with 9% added redundancy helps to retain similar image quality for BER up to 1E-4, and Hamming coding with 33.3% added redundancy allows the BER to increase to 1E-3. These results can serve as a guideline in the datalink design for ultrasound probes with in-probe receive digitization. With much more relaxed BER requirements than in typical datalinks, the design can be optimized by allowing fewer cables with higher data rate per cable or lower power consumption with the same cable count.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Bit error rate (BER), datalink, forward error detection/correction (FEDC), image quality metrics (IQM), in-probe digitization
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1109/TUFFC.2019.2937462, hdl.handle.net/1765/123462
Journal I E E E Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control
Citation
Chen, Z, Soozande, M, Vos, H.J, Bosch, J.G, Verweij, M.D, de Jong, N, & Pertijs, M.A.P. (2020). Impact of bit errors in digitized rf data on ultrasound image quality. I E E E Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, 67(1), 13–24. doi:10.1109/TUFFC.2019.2937462