A compact medical ultrasound beamformer architecture that uses oversampled 1-bit analog-to-digital (A/D) converters is presented. Sparse sample processing is used, as the echo signal for the image lines is reconstructed in 512 equidistant focal points along the line through its in-phase and quadrature components. That information is sufficient for presenting a B-mode image and creating a color flow map. The high sampling rate provides the necessary delay resolution for the focusing. The low channel data width (1-bit) makes it possible to construct a compact beamformer logic. The signal reconstruction is done using finite impulse response (FIR) filters, applied on selected bit sequences of the delta-sigma modulator output stream. The approach allows for a multichannel beamformer to fit in a single field programmable gate array (FPGA) device. A 32-channel beamformer is estimated to occupy 50% of the available logic resources in a commercially available midrange FPGA, and to be able to operate at 129 MHz. Simulation of the architecture at 140 MHz provides images with a dynamic range approaching 60 dB for an excitation frequency of 3 MHz.
I E E E Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, 2005, Vol 52, Issue 5, p. 870-880