2.3 nV/√Hz, Differential, Time Gain Control (TGC) DAC Reference Design for Ultrasound


Design files


The TIDA-01427 reference design provides a solution for differential signal chain used for generating a time-varying control voltage (VCNTL) to drive multiple AFE devices in a parallel configuration. TI's low-noise analog front ends (AFEs) for medical ultrasound have a time gain control (TGC) feature that helps achieve best possible signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for ultrasound applications. This reference design uses dual multiplying DACs (DAC8802) followed by current-to-voltage converters (OPA2209) to generate a 20-V swing. After filtering this 20-V swing with a multiple feedback filter (THS4130), it is attenuated to 1.5-V using a passive attenuator. The design can be powered using a ±15 or 5-V supply (onboard Fly-Buck converter LM5160 converts a 5-V input to ±15-V rails). The clean power suppplies for the entire signal chain are generated using the TPS7A39 and TPS7A47. The ±10-V references for the DAC are generated using the REF5010 and OPA2209.

  • Low-noise (2.3nV/√Hz), differential TGC signal enables AFE58xx series devices to amplify lower amplitude signals resulting in higher depth of penetration in ultrasound imaging
  • Enables AFEs to resolve the data with lower noise resulting in high resolution ultrasound images
  • Full signal chain propagation delay of < 5µs improves overall system response time
  • Second-order Butterworth active low-pass filter with fc = 150 kHz helps smooth transition of control signal
  • Capable of driving up to 64+ channels of AFEs
  • Configurable output common-mode voltage from 0 to 2.5V to support AFEs with different control voltage requirements
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A fully assembled board has been developed for testing and performance validation only, and is not available for sale.

Design files & products

Design files

Download ready-to-use system files to speed your design process.

TIDUD38.PDF (7231 K)

Reference design overview and verified performance test data

TIDRS44.PDF (435 K)

Detailed schematic diagram for design layout and components

TIDRS45.PDF (103 K)

Complete listing of design components, reference designators, and manufacturers/part numbers

TIDRS46.PDF (248 K)

Detailed overview of design layout for component placement

TIDRS48.ZIP (1373 K)

Files used for 3D models or 2D drawings of IC components

TIDCDP4.ZIP (1250 K)

Design file that contains information on physical board layer of design PCB

TIDRS47.PDF (1059 K)

PCB layer plot file used for generating PCB design layout


Includes TI products in the design and potential alternatives.

Fully differential amplifiers

THS4130150MHz, Fully Differential Input/Output Low Noise Amplifier With Shutdown

Data sheet: PDF | HTML
Isolated DC/DC converters & modules

LM5160LM5160 wide input 65V, 2A synchronous buck/Fly-Buck™ converter

Data sheet: PDF | HTML
Linear & low-dropout (LDO) regulators

TPS7A39150-mA, 33-V, low-noise, high-PSRR, dual-channel positive & negative low-dropout voltage regulator

Data sheet: PDF | HTML
Linear & low-dropout (LDO) regulators

TPS7A471-A, 36-V, low-noise, high-PSRR, low-dropout voltage regulator with enable

Data sheet: PDF | HTML
Precision DACs (≤10 MSPS)

DAC880214-Bit, Dual Channel, Serial Interface, Multiplying Digital-to-Analog Converter

Data sheet: PDF
Precision op amps (Vos<1mV)

OPA2209Dual, 2.2-nV/rtHz, 18-MHz, precision, RRO, 36-V operational amplifier

Data sheet: PDF | HTML
Precision op amps (Vos<1mV)

OPA2210Ultra-low noise (2.2-nV/√Hz), super beta (0.3nA), high precision (5µV, 0.1µV/°C), 36-V, dual op amp

Data sheet: PDF | HTML
Series voltage references

REF501010V, 3-µVpp/V noise, 3-ppm/°C drift precision series voltage reference

Data sheet: PDF | HTML

Start development


Design tools & simulation

Simulation model

TIDA-01427 TINA Simulation — TIDM002.ZIP (24 K)

Technical documentation

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Type Title Date
* Design guide 2.3-nV/√Hz, Differential, Time Gain Control DAC Reference Design for Ultrasound Aug. 08, 2017
Technical article Take your ultrasound design to the next level PDF | HTML Feb. 08, 2018
Analog Design Journal Design and analysis of a TGC circuit to drive the control voltage Apr. 26, 2017
Application note Time Gain Control (Compensation) in Ultrasound Applications Dec. 02, 2016

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