Get the Picture
Posted date : Jul 26, 2010

Hitachi’s latch-up-free, SOI-based chips enable new generations of compact medical ultrasound systems.

Medical challenge

Ultrasound systems need to be smaller, more cost-effective, and higher performance – without compromising reliability.

Design challenge

Ultrasound is based on high-voltage pulses that drive transducers, which create and receive bursts of sound waves. Low-power, high-performance electronics control a complex set of amplitudes, frequencies, direction and depth-of-focus. Increasing footprint constraints are pushing designers to embed the control electronics on the pulsar IC.  Cost-effective and highly reliable solutions are required to prevent the high-voltage, analog drivers from causing fatal “latch-up” in the low-power, digital control electronics.

Hitachi’s 8-channel +/-100V/2.5A SOI-based, fully-integrated Ultrasound Pulser is at the heart of leading edge systems. (Courtesy: Hitachi Medical Systems and Micro Device Division)

SOI solution

The layer of insulation in an SOI substrate prevents latch-up without resorting to complicated design and manufacturing techniques.

Hitachi has developed an SOI-LDMOS technology that enables 250V high-voltage elements to be safely embedded in low-voltage, digital technology.

Designers for the company’s Medical Systems group leveraged this in an 8-channel, fully-integrated, SOI-based pulser IC for medical ultrasound imaging applications. It has the advantage of being a high performance, cost-effective solution for compact board spaces, as compared to conventional discrete solutions. The single-chip, SOI-based technology reduces the number of external components and power supplies as compared with conventional technologies such as AC coupling via external capacitors, external power supplies, etc.

About the author

Administrator administrator

You must be logged in to post a comment.