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Analog Devices Enables Superior Image Quality in Portable Ultrasound Medical Diagnostics  

April 2, 2007 -- A new imaging chip from Analog Devices, Inc., the AD9271, integrates a complete eight-channel (octal) ultrasound receiver on a single chip. This unprecedented level of integration allows medical equipment designers to reduce the size of the signal path for mobile ultrasound systems by 50 percent and lower power requirements by 25 percent, all while achieving noise levels and other performance metrics required in critical care settings.

Specifically, the AD9271 analog front end (AFE) replaces previous multi-chip discrete solutions and their associated requirements for interconnect and package space with a single chip that combines a low-noise amplifier (LNA), a variable-gain amplifier (VGA), an anti-aliasing filter (AAF) and a 12-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC).

Primarily targeted toward the medical imaging market, the new AD9271 is designed for low power consumption, small size and ease of use. Allowing greater channel count without increasing battery and power supply size, the AD9271 ADC with integrated front end operates from 10 MSPS (mega samples per second) to 50 MSPS using only 115-mW to 175-mW-per-channel respectively--25 percent less than competing solutions. Fabricated in an advanced CMOS process, the AD9271 includes an integrated crosspoint switch, allowing numerous multi-channel configuration options that can be enabled with the CW (continuous wave) Doppler mode. This makes possible the powering down of individual channels to save battery life. Each channel of the AD9271 features a variable gain range of 30 dB, and the integrated ADC has 70 dB SNR (signal-to-noise ratio), matching the performance previously available only in discrete solutions.

Like other products in ADI's complete high-speed ADC family, the AD9271 contains several features to help maximize flexibility and minimize system cost. These include programmable clock, data alignment and digital-test-pattern generation. The AD9271 was specifically designed to interface with the AD8339, a quad programmable I&Q demodulator with phase shifter that is ideally suited for CW Doppler ultrasound systems. The AD9271 also complements ADI's AD7980, AD9704, ADV212 and ADR510, comprising the broadest product portfolio targeting the medical imaging and ultrasound markets available from any IC manufacturer today.

The AD9271 ADC with integrated AFE is sampling now with volume production scheduled for May 2007. The new device is priced at $40 to $72 in 1,000-unit quantities depending on speed grade. The AD9271 is housed in a Pb-free, 14 mm x 14 mm, 100-lead TQFP (thin-quad flat pack) package. Sample units are now available.

Go to the Analog Devices, Inc. website for product details.

Keywords: Analog Devices, ADI, imaging, medical, ADCs, a/d converters, analog/digital converters, analog-to-digital converters,
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