Research Projects

Time-Domain Ultra-Wideband Synthetic Imager (TUSI)

Amin Arbabian, Steven Callender, Shinwon Kang, Juan Yaquian and Ali Niknejad

National Science Foundation, STMicroelectronics

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. and the world. Detection in early stages has proven to be essential for reducing the mortality rate. Medical imaging techniques are used to detect and classify potential cancerous tissues by the "traces" that are left from the abnormal cells. Depending on the imaging modality, tumor biology, and the physical parameters involved in the system, the effectiveness of the provided visualization for the process of detection is examined. The focus of this research is to use the contrast in microwave signals to various tissue abnormalities for the early detection of cancer. In order to achieve this, a large bandwidth is required to provide adequate depth resolution. UWB signaling provides greater frequency information as well as sufficient tissue penetration, but requires a careful design to address concerns in various system blocks, from signal generation to detection and interpretation. The system is implemented as an array of high frequency (94GHz) transceivers. High frequency operation allows for larger signal bandwidths and in turn, finer depth resolution. Pulsed transmitters operating at a carrier frequency of 94 GHz with upwards of 30GHz of bandwidth have been demonstrated in silicon [1]. The next step in this research is to demonstrate a fully integrated transceiver which can then be used to build the system array. To achieve this goal, high-bandwidth receiver front-ends, low phase noise PLLs, picosecond-accurate timing circuitry, and high-speed baseband circuitry must be designed.

Figure 1
Figure 1: TUSI Transmitter (90GHz Carrier, >30-GHz Bandwidth)

[1]
Arbabian, A., Callender, S., Shinwon Kang, Afshar, B., Jun-Chau Chien, Niknejad, A.M. , "A 90 GHz Hybrid Switching Pulsed-Transmitter for Medical Imaging," Solid-State Circuits, IEEE Journal of , vol.45, no.12, pp.2667-2681, Dec. 2010.