Ti Unveils Industry’s First Family of Complete Analog Front Ends for Superior Ultrasound Systems

First device offers 50% smaller size, 20% less power consumption, 40% less noise for sharper images in portable equipment.

Extending its high-performance analog expertise in the medical imaging market, Texas Instruments (TI) (NYSE: TXN) today introduced a family of fully integrated Analog Front Ends (AFEs) for portable to high-end ultrasound diagnostic equipment.

TI’s AFE58xx family will allow the design of innovative ultrasound systems with superior image quality and reduced power consumption. The first device, the AFE5805, addresses the specific needs of the portable ultrasound market with nearly 50% space savings, 20% lower power consumption and 40% less noise than existing integrated solutions.

Aging populations, rising healthcare costs and increased demand in emerging economies have created a rapidly growing need for innovative medical solutions such as portable and affordable ultrasound equipment to be used in doctors’ offices, ambulances, mobile triage situations and remote regions. Frost & Sullivan forecasts the market for portable or hand-carried ultrasound systems to grow with a 19.2% compound annual growth rate and reach $330 million by 2010.

“With the changing requirements and design complexity in the ultrasound market, manufacturers require scalable, highly integrated solutions to make ultrasound systems more accessible while further enhancing medical image quality and reducing power consumption”, said Kent Novak, vice president of TI’s Medical and High-Reliability business unit. “With a full roadmap of AFE58xx devices addressing all market segments, TI is saving systems cost for manufacturers and helping shape technology to improve the quality and affordability of innovative ultrasound systems.”

Advanced features for lower power and higher image quality

The AFE5805 is a complete analog signal chain solution specifically designed for portable ultrasound systems, which require low power and small size while maintaining the highest resolution possible. By reducing component count, the AFE5805 decreases power consumption by up to 20% with 122mW per channel power efficiency and offers 40% less noise than its closest competitor. With the low noise feature of 0.85nV/rtHz at 2MHz, the AFE5805 achieves a performance suitable not only for portable equipment, but also for high channel density mid-range ultrasound systems.

The device integrates eight channels of a Low-Noise Amplifier (LNA), voltage controlled attenuator, programmable gain amplifier, low-pass filter, and 12-bit, 50MSPS Analog-to-Digital Converter (ADC) with LVDS data outputs. With a 15mm by 9mm package, the AFE5805 is the smallest analog front end currently available in the market, about half the size of existing solutions. The low input voltage noise level of the on-chip LNA is key to the quality of the complete input signal path and determines the entire system performance, including the high resolution.

Tools, support speed time-to-market

Easy-to-use Evaluation Modules (EVMs), data sheet downloads and free samples from TI allow for fast and cost-effective evaluation to help customers speed the design process and penetrate the market quickly. In addition to the AFE5805, TI offers a full portfolio of integrated circuits for ultrasound systems including high performance DSPs, DaVinci™ digital media processors, OMAP™ application processors, high-speed data converters and amplifiers, power management, clocks and interface devices. To download TI’s latest Medical Applications Guide, please visit www.ti.com/Medical.

Pricing, packaging and availability

The AFE5805 is available in a 15mm x 9mm, 135-pin BGA package with a suggested retail price of $75 each in 100-unit quantities. Samples and EVMs are available now, with volume production scheduled for June 2008.

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