Ultrasound Systems/Clinical Applications

System Description

Diagnostic imaging quality of ultrasound systems is defined by the beamforming characteristics of the ultrasonic device. Modern ultrafast ultrasound plane wave imaging, dynamic focusing, steering, amplitude weighting, pulse coding and controlling the size of the aperture of an array probe are the techniques which are used to form the acoustic beam. Especially for research and development it is necessary to have complete control possibilities over the parameters that determine the geometry, the direction, the number and the acoustical properties of the sound beams.

The ultrasound research system "DiPhAS", which is in its ninth generation of development, provides full control over all beamforming and imaging parameters. DiPhAS is controlled and programmed by a standard PC. As well as the basic routines provided by its operating system additional extended functions for control and processing are implemented. The system is based on a PC platform with Microsoft Windows operating system, GPU-powered for massive parallel processing (like beamforming) and includes programming manual for all interface functions with all SDK software samples. Documentation of electrical safety, system components up to layouts for OEM can be provided and a user/application specific medical certification testing is available as an option.

RF or Channel Data Acquisition

© Fraunhofer IBMT
Ultrasound single element channel data and reconstruction.

Research in the field of ultrasonic diagnostics includes the development and use of advanced methods of processing high frequency data (RF-data) and single channel data (RAW-data).

DiPhAS allows full access to the high-frequency signals coming from each single receiving element of the array probe. Amplifying as well as amplitude weighting, pulse forms and the delays can be programmed individually. This includes a code generator for creation of standard transmission patterns and the possibility using any custom excitation pattern for pulse sequencing.

The system includes a high performance PC but it is also possible to connect any PC via modern and fast interfaces (Gigabit Ethernet and PCI express). The complete RF-data can be transferred to the PC for online processing, imaging or storage to be used in offline signal processing.

Modular and scalable

DiPhAS is structured modularly can be scaled in channel count and can adapt to any commercially available or self-developed linear, curved, phased and 2D-array probes. The modules include:

Basis module (mainboard, power supply, system software):

Xilinx FPGAs for operation control, data transmission and signal processing, data transfer to PC using modern fast interfaces (PCI express, Gigabit Ethernet), custom power supply that can operate on battery power as an option and generates various voltages (for FPGA, ICs, Transmitter, ATX voltage for integrated PC)

Application specific modules (front ends, transducers, signal processing, visualization):
implement transmit pulse sequencing, data transfer management and pre-processing, include large DDR3 memory for buffering of receive data, high frequency digitalization, high voltage pulser or operational amplifier

Software modules:
framework for ultrasound integration in 3rd party applications, closed loop filter intergration for online evaluation  

Application-specific system configurations

All systems are equipped with 128 channels for transmission and 128 channels for reception with the selection of a pulse-echo setup (each transmit and receive channel connected to the same transducer element) or transmission setup (transmit and receive channels are separated and connected to different transducer elements).

The development of application-specific designs and configurations (for example for a higher channel count, user specific add-on electronics) is possible in research and development projects.

The system is available in application-specific configurations:

High frequency: transducers 20–100 MHz
Using a digitalization of 480 MHz for all parallel system channels, the system can be used for material testing, industrial process- and quality control, biotechnology and more

Traditional clinical: transducers 1–20 MHz
Besides standard medical applications the system can be used for special versions like MRI-compatible imaging, therapy control, optoacoustics, VVI and ultrafast-imaging. There is a medical certification option

Low frequency: transducers 0,1 - 10 MHz
This system includes sonar applications like MBES (multi beam echo sounder), 3D-Camera and medical therapy systems

More details about the system configurations can be found in the product sheet.

Software and integration

The beamforming reconstruction is based on ultrafast ultrasound imaging (plane wave compounding, synthetic aperture imaging), delay and sum imaging, both with adaptive GPU processing. An online software with full screen user interface for clinical use is available that features data management for recorded data and data export functions for further analysis.

It is possible to use a filter interface for custom processing and filtering with processing pipeline access that uses closed loop device control possibilities.

The software for offline visualization and processing to be used for analysis of recorded datasets and filter development uses our open file formats with readers for different programming languages. There is a software interface for Matlab for device parameterization, control and data processing and a C# (Microsoft .NET) SDK for direct integration into 3rd party applications with samples.  

Ultrasound Research Software

Mobile App for iPhone/iPad

Offers of the Main Department of Ultrasound

Equipment of the Main Department of Ultrasound

Brochure of Main Department of Ultrasound

Product Information Sheets of the Main Department of Ultrasound

Projects of the Main Department of Ultrasound

All Publications of the Main Department of Ultrasound

Press Releases of the Main Department of Ultrasound

Student Works in the Main Department of Ultrasound