Variable Gain Amplifiers have on-board CW Doppler beamformers.

Press Release Summary:

Respectively tailored to support 10-/12-bit ADCs, MAX2036/MAX2038 are integrated, SiGe variable-gain amplifiers with on-board continuous-wave (CW) Doppler beamformers. Integrated mixers and LO generators exhibit low thermal and jitter noise performance of -155 dBc/Hz @ 1 kHz offset from 900 mVP-P, 1.25 MHz carrier signal. Designed for ultrasound imaging applications, ICs have necessary dynamic range and noise performance to detect Doppler shifts from 100 kHz to under 1 kHz.

Original Press Release:

Industry's First, Fully Integrated Octal VGAs with On-Board CW Doppler Beamformers for High-Performance Ultrasound-Imaging Equipment

Most highly integrated octal ultrasound VGAs include on-chip CW beamformers.

SUNNYVALE, CA-August 6, 2009-Maxim Integrated Products (NASDAQ: MXIM) introduces the MAX2036/MAX2038, the industry's first fully integrated, SiGe variable-gain amplifiers (VGAs) with on-board continuous-wave Doppler (CWD) beamformers designed specifically for high-performance ultrasound-imaging applications. Together with the existing MAX2034 quad low-noise amplifier (LNA), the MAX2036/MAX2038 octal VGAs with CWD beamformers deliver the highest levels of integration, sensitivity, and dynamic range, along with the lowest output-referred noise of any competing integrated solution. In addition, the MAX2036/MAX2038 are the only solutions on the market that include a fully integrated CWD beamformer, thus eliminating the need for external phase rotator ICs, delay lines, analog switches, and mixers.

The MAX2036/MAX2038 combine the linearity and noise performance of the previously introduced MAX2035/MAX2037 VGAs with the added functionality of an on-chip, octal quadrature mixer array and programmable LO phase generators. 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 possess the necessary dynamic range and noise performance to detect Doppler shifts ranging from 100kHz to less than 1kHz. The mixers and LO generators are designed to have exceptionally low thermal and jitter noise performance of -155dBc/Hz at 1kHz offset from a 900mVP-P, 1.25MHz carrier signal. This exceptional noise performance is critical for detecting weak, low-velocity, Doppler-shift blood-flow signals. In ultrasound systems, these low-velocity Doppler-shift signals are the most difficult to detect due to the existence of exceptionally strong blocking signals commonly referred to as clutter. Since Doppler measurements must be made in the presence of a continuous-wave transmit signal, the amount of clutter signal generated from stationary tissue and bone reflections, as well as transmit-to-receive crosstalk in the transducer, can be as high as 200mVP-P at the receiver's input. The presence of these clutter signals degrades the receiver's ability to accurately detect weak, low-velocity Doppler signals (i.e., those which are closest in frequency to the CW carrier signal). Because the MAX2036/MAX2038 have such excellent close-in noise performance, they excel in making these difficult-to-detect, velocity blood-flow measurements.

When combined with the MAX2034 quad LNA, the MAX2036/MAX2038 VGA mode yields an incredibly low, cascaded output-referred noise of only 20nV/ -2x less noise than the closest competing chipset solution. Another key feature of these VGAs is that they have been tailored to support either 10-bit or 12-bit ADCs. 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.

The MAX2036/MAX2038 are available in lead-free, 100-pin TQFP packages. Prices start at $39.98 (1000-up, FOB USA). For further details on these VGAs and additional ICs that can be used to complete this high-performance, ultrasound-imaging solution, go to

Maxim Integrated Products is a publicly traded company that designs, manufactures, and sells high-performance semiconductor products. The Company reported revenue in excess of $2 billion for fiscal 2008. Maxim was founded over 25 years ago with the mission to deliver innovative analog and mixed-signal engineering solutions that add value to its customers' products. To date, it has developed over 6000 products serving the industrial, communications, consumer, and computing markets. For more information, go to

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