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Samplify Systems Unveils New Ultrasound Beamformer Technology

Samplify Systems, a provider of solutions for the medical imaging industry, has introduced AutoFocus beamforming technology optimized for high-performance, low-power ultrasound machines.

Autofocus beamforming provides the flexibility for ultrasound OEMs to implement customized and differentiated algorithms that simplify software and system design and speed time to market across a wide range of systems from ultra-low power hand-held machines, through laptop hand- carried machines and low-mid range carts.

Samplify’s beamformer technology includes a integrated AutoFocus engine which automatically refocuses the receiver to capture reflections at different scan depths. AutoFocus alleviates the real-time requirement of calculating and downloading the delay and weighting coefficients in the back-end computer, thus simplifying software and system design.

Samplify said that four scan-lines are formed simultaneously using QuadBeam phased array technology for higher frame rates and improved lateral resolution. All transducer geometry definitions and scan-line parameters are driven from programmable tables, further removing the real-time nature of back-end computer updates while providing beamformer implementation flexibility to the OEM customer. Silicon implementation of the new beamformer will consume up to 90% less power versus an FPGA while providing high-end FPGA performance at more cost effective FPGA prices.

Samplify’s AutoFocus beamforming provides the enhancements for ultrasound applications which include: AutoFocus engine calculates and updates delay and apodization weights every 0.5 mm, and interpolates every sample period. Provides programmable initial and maximum scan depths, and programmable and window functions.

QuadBeam phased-array technology forms four simultaneous scan-lines. Compared with many current implementations that form a single beam, QuadBeam enables higher ultrasound frame-rates for color overlays and higher lateral resolution with multiple transmit focus depths. QuadBeam also enables a low-power mode requiring 75% fewer transmissions per frame.

Table driven architecture supports up to 512 pre-defined scan-line settings such as origin coordinates, aperture values, and steering angles allowing interleaving B-mode and color modes. Tables defining transducer geometries are also provided for each element.

Refractive Index Correction improves beamformer performance by correcting phase errors caused by speed of sound differences between the probe case and body. AutoFocus beamformer updates the corrections every 0.5mm during scan.

Al Wegener, founder, chairman and CTO of Samplify Systems, said: “With our AutoFocus beamforming technology, powerful phased array beamforming techniques are now available to classes of machines that could only implement simple algorithms due to power or cost constraints. By leveraging this highly configurable beamforming platform, OEM customers gain the best of both worlds: the lower power and cost benefits of ASIC implementation, and the ability to maintain product differentiation.”