This technology can be used for three-dimensional and four-dimensional ultrasound imaging, particularly in the field of medicine.
Two-dimensional medical ultrasound produces outlines and flat images of the internal body organs. While this is advantageous for diagnosing
prenatal heart defects, kidney problems, and other internal organ abnormalities, a three-dimensional ultrasound
image shows external features, anatomical details of the body organ, and volumetric view of the soft tissues. Stitching images of the three-dimensional ultrasound relative to time results in the real-time visualization of the organ functionality. However, making a three-dimensional ultrasound probe is expensive, complex, and prone to failure.
This technology makes a circuit-level column-row-parallel architecture of multiple ultrasonic transceivers to form a grid. A variety of aperture configurations is achieved through selective beam-forming including plane-wave coherent computing, checkerboard patterns, and annular rings. The flexibility in 3D beam formation allows fine granularity in imaging based on organ-specific requirements. Miniaturization into an integrated circuit is possible by using capacitive micro-machined ultrasonic transducers or piezoelectric micro-machined ultrasonic transducers.
- Programmable beam-formation