Ultrasound Variable-Gain Amplifier

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Fully Integrated Octal Ultrasound LNA Delivers 29.5dB of Max Gain, 40dB of Dynamic Gain Range, -70dBc of HD2 Performance, and an Exceptionally Low Output-Referred Noise Level of Only 22nV/√Hz

Part Details
  • 8-Channel Configuration
  • High Integration for Ultrasound Imaging Applications
  • Pin Compatible with the MAX2038 Ultrasound VGA Plus CW Doppler Beamformer
  • Maximum Gain, Gain Range, and Output-Referred Noise Optimized for Interfacing with 12-Bit ADCs
    • Maximum Gain of 29.5dB
    • Total Gain Range of 42dB
    • 22nV/ Ultra-Low Output-Referred Noise at 5MHz
    • Pin-for-Pin 10-Bit Compatibility Supported By MAX2035/MAX2036
  • ±0.25dB Absolute Gain Error
  • Switchable Output VGA Clamp Eliminating ADC Overdrive
  • Fully Differential VGA Outputs for Direct ADC Drive
  • Variable Gain Range Achieves 42dB Dynamic Range
  • -70dBc HD2 at VOUT = 1.5VP-P and fIN = 5MHz
  • Two-Tone Ultrasound-Specific* IMD3 of -52dBc at VOUT = 1.5VP-P and fIN = 5MHz
  • 120mW Consumption Per Channel
Additional Details
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The MAX2037 8-channel variable-gain amplifier (VGA) is designed for high linearity, high dynamic range, and low-noise performance targeting ultrasound imaging and Doppler applications. Each amplifier features differential inputs and outputs and a total gain range of typically 42dB. In addition, the VGAs offer very low output-referred noise performance suitable for interfacing with 12-bit ADCs.

The MAX2037 VGA is optimized for less than ±0.25dB absolute gain error to ensure minimal channel-to-channel ultrasound beamforming focus error. The device's differential outputs are designed to directly drive ultrasound ADCs through an external passive anti-aliasing filter. A switchable clamp is also provided at each amplifier's outputs to limit the output signals, thereby preventing ADC overdrive or saturation.

Dynamic performance of the device is optimized to reduce distortion to support second-harmonic imaging. The device achieves a second-harmonic distortion specification of -70dBc at VOUT = 1.5VP-P and fIN = 5MHz, and an ultrasound-specific* two-tone third-order intermodulation distortion specification of -52dBc at VOUT = 1.5VP-P and fIN = 5MHz.

The MAX2037 operates from a +5.0V power supply, consuming only 120mW/channel. The device is available in a 100-pin TQFP package with an exposed pad. Electrical performance is guaranteed over a 0°C to +70°C temperature range.


  • Sonar
  • Ultrasound Imaging

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