EE Product News

Octal Variable-Gain Amps Serve Ultrasound-Imaging Equipment

The MAX2036 and MAX2038 are claimed as the industry's first SiGe variable-gain amplifiers (VGAs) with on-board continuous-wave Doppler (CWD) beamformers; they’re designed specifically for ultrasound-imaging applications. When teamed with the company’s MAX2034 quad low-noise amplifier (LNA), the MAX2036/MAX2038 octal VGAs deliver high integration, sensitivity, and dynamic range, eliminating the need for external phase-rotator ICs, delay lines, analog switches, and mixers. During normal operation, the MAX2036/MAX2038 are configured such that either the VGA path is enabled while the mixer array is powered down (VGA mode), or the quadrature mixer array is enabled while the VGA path is powered down (CW mode). When in CW mode, the LO phase dividers can be programmed to allow 4, 8, or 16 quadrature phases for optimal beamforming resolution. The MAX2036/MAX2038 delivers the necessary dynamic range and noise performance to detect Doppler shifts ranging from 100 kHz to less than 1 kHz. The mixers and LO generators are designed to have exceptionally low thermal and jitter noise performance of -155dBc/Hz at 1 kHz offset from a 900-mVp-p, 1.25-MHz carrier signal. This exceptional noise performance is critical for detecting weak, low-velocity, Doppler-shift blood-flow signals. The MAX2036 has been optimized to support 10-bit ADCs, thus meeting the need for greater variable-gain range performance. The MAX2038 is optimized for 12-bit ADCs, for applications where superior dynamic range performance is needed to capitalize on the ADC's inherent resolution. Both are available in lead-free, 100-pin TQFP packages. Prices start at $39.98 each in lots of 1000. MAXIM INTEGRATED PRODUCTS, Sunnyvale, CA. (408) 737-7600.


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