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8-channel ultrasound pulser IC from ST saves cost and size

Date: 06/08/2014
STMicroelectronics said the cost and size of ultrasound imaging machines can be reduced with its new STHV800 8-channel ultrasound pulser.

By using its proprietary SOI-BCD61 process technology ST has combined low-voltage CMOS logic, precise analog circuitry, and robust power stages on the same chip offering high level of integration.

The monolithic, high-voltage, high-speed pulse generator with eight independent channels integrates a controller-logic interface circuit, level translators, self-biased high-voltage MOSFET gate drivers, noise-blocking diodes, and high-power P-channel and N-channel MOSFETs for the output stages of each channel.

Each channel contains two output stages, one for pulsed wave (PW) and one for continuous wave (CW) operation, together with an integrated Transmit/Receive switch to guarantee effective decoupling during the transmission phase. In addition to being the most highly-integrated 8-channel pulser available on the market, the STHV800s fast and symmetrical output voltage transitions allow sharp images to be obtained without the need for complex and costly image-processing algorithms, claims ST.

This BOM saving and less PCB footprint occupying chip not compromise quality and performance resulting in cost-effective, hand-held echography systems will enable doctors to perform safe, radiation-free checks such as ultrasound prenatal scans, which are routine procedures in industrialized countries, in an increasing range of rural and emerging economies.

STHV800 can be used in many other applications, including sonar, radar, Non-Destructive-Testing equipment, and other applications that require piezoelectric transducer actuation.

Key features of the STHV800 include an input voltage range of 1.5 - 3.6V and an output voltage up to 90V, the ability to control pulses with durations as low as 10ns for maximum image sharpness, less than 10ps jitter to ensure accurate frequency response in ultrasound Doppler analysis, low second harmonic distortion (less than -40dB) for higher image quality, and a design that does not need external reference capacitors.

Housed in a compact LGA8x8 package, the STHV800 is now available in volume at a price of $16 in quantities of 1,000 units.