STMicroelectronics has introduced an integrated low-noise ultrasound pulse controller. Built using the company’s high-voltage BCD mixed-signal technology, the STHV748 provides four independent channels, each of which generates precisely controlled high-voltage pulses to drive piezoelectric crystals or other transducers. The device enables the next generation of high-performance ultrasound imaging systems in a small form factor. The ultrasound scanner works on the same principles as radar. A piezoelectric transducer emits a burst of ultrasound waves when stimulated by a high-voltage electrical signal and, in turn, generates a low-voltage electrical signal in response to the echoed reflections of ultrasound waves from, for example, soft body tissues. The role of the STHV748 is to provide the accurately timed high-voltage pulses that generate the ultrasound burst and switch to receive mode to detect the echoed signals. The STHV748 integrates CMOS digital control logic, analog level translators, MOSFET gate drivers and high-power N- and P-channel MOSFET output stages in a fully self-biasing architecture.