Monday, March 30, 2009

Ultrasound cost reduction technology

Texas Instruments (TI) is targetting the low cost, portable ultrasound equipment market with an embedded processor software toolkit to encourage more flexible ultrasound equipment in clinics rather than just in hospitals. This is the first in a family of products to help manufacturers quickly and easily develop ultrasound applications on the improved processing power of TI’s C64x+ DSP platforms.
The Embedded Processor Software Toolkit (STK) for medical diagnostic ultrasound makes use of the performance, flexibility and power consumption of TI’s C64x+ architecture to shorten the development time of an ultrasound system by providing optimized implementations of commonly used processing blocks.
TI is also offering the TMS320C6455 DSP Starter Kit (DSK) for medical imaging, a low-cost development platform which provides manufacturers with an easy-to-use solution for evaluating DSP algorithms, reducing medical imaging product development time.
The C64x+ kit contains:
* Optimized software modules of common ultrasound processing
blocks
* Complete source code for all modules affords developers full
visibility and enables module customization and differentiation.
* Well defined APIs simplify development by abstracting modules and
enabling easy integration into existing systems.
* Complete benchmarks allow for quick and easy evaluation of module
implementation and comparisons to other architectures.
* Full test benches provide assurance of module functionality while
aiding in evaluation and development. Custom test vectors can easily be
added to check functional and cycle performance for any input.
* Full documentation of each optimized module provides coding
illustrations on computational optimization methods for the C64x+ core
which can be used as a model to optimize other code modules.
* One year of support and release patches include up-to-date releases
and support by TI’s applications team over the next 12 months.

"Over the next few years, we anticipate a significant shift in medical
imaging applications from traditional imaging modalities limited to
basic diagnostic functions to a new ecosystem comprised of small form
factor, highly accurate portable devices, ” said Susie Inouye, research
director and president, Databeans. “It is clear that manufacturers
seeking to design more flexible, affordable and portable ultrasound
equipment can benefit from the low power, high-performance and flexible
programmability of TI’s digital signal processors.”

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