This paper presents an ultrasound transceiver application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) directly integrated with an array of 12 × 80 piezoelectric transducer elements to enable next-generation ultrasound probes for 3D carotid artery imaging. The ASIC, implemented in a 0.18 µm high-voltage Bipolar-CMOS-DMOS (HV BCD) process, adopted a programmable switch matrix that allowed selected transducer elements in each row to be connected to a transmit and receive channel of an imaging system. This made the probe operate like an electronically translatable linear array, allowing large-aperture matrix arrays to be interfaced with a manageable number of system channels. This paper presents a second-generation ASIC that employed an improved switch design to minimize clock feedthrough and charge-injection effects of high-voltage metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (HV MOSFETs), which in the first-generation ASIC caused parasitic transmissions and associated imaging artifacts. The proposed switch controller, implemented with cascaded non-overlapping clock generators, generated control signals with improved timing to mitigate the effects of these non-idealities. Both simulation results and electrical measurements showed a 20 dB reduction of the switching artifacts. In addition, an acoustic pulse-echo measurement successfully demonstrated a 20 dB reduction of imaging artifacts.
Keywords: 3D ultrasound imaging; charge injection; clock feedthrough; high-voltage (HV) switches; matrix transducers; ultrasound application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC).