Samplify introduces ultrasound beamformer IC

LONDON — Samplify Systems Inc. (Santa Clara, Calif.) has announced an autofocus beamforming technology for ultrasound imaging.

The technology uses a 32-channel ultrasound analog front-end receiver module in an ultra-small small-outline dual-in-line configuration based on the SAM1600 family of compressing ADCs.

Samplify's beamformer technology includes an integrated AutoFocus engine that automatically refocuses the receiver to capture reflections at different scan depths. The system thereby alleviates the real-time calculation requirement conventionally done in software and can simplify software and system design.

Four scan-lines are formed simultaneously using phased array technology for higher frame rates and improved lateral resolution. The silicon implementation of the beamformer will consume up to 90 percent less power versus an FPGA while providing high-end FPGA performance at a lower price, Samplify said.

The modules are available for early access now with production availability scheduled for Q3 of this year.

It has a table-driven architecture that supports up to 512 pre-defined scan-line settings such as origin coordinates, aperture values, and steering angles. Tables defining transducer geometries are also provided for each element. Refractive index correction improves beamformer performance by correcting phase errors caused by speed-of-sound differences between the probe case and body. AutoFocus beamformer updates these corrections every 0.5-mm during scan.

“With our AutoFocus beamforming technology, powerful phased-array beamforming techniques are now available to classes of machines that could only implement simple algorithms due to power or cost constraints,” said Al Wegener, founder, chairman and CTO of Samplify Systems, in a statement.

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