Example of Intel Solution for Diagnostic Imaging Equipment
Diagnostic imaging systems such as X-ray and ultrasound have been in use for decades. Other systems, which include computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and nuclear or positron emission tomography (PET), are newer. These new diagnostic imaging systems are complex and image-processing intensive, forcing manufacturers to continuously introduce more advanced features and improved performance.
Semiconductors play an important role in developing these cutting-edge diagnostic imaging systems. With increases in density, flexibility and performance, today's programmable logic provides the system-on-a-chip (SoC) capabilities to drive next-generation imaging systems.
As shown above, a typical diagnostic imaging system consists of three sets of cards: data acquisition, data consolidation, and image/data processing cards.
The data acquisition card, which filters incoming data, is the most cost-sensitive system card. Usually a diagnostic imaging system will consist of multiple data acquisition cards (in some cases, up to 20 cards per system). Once the data is compensated and filtered, it is sent to the data consolidation card for buffering and data alignment. For CT and PET scanners where the detectors rotate around the body, the data is serialized and sent across a slip ring electromechanical subassembly. Once the data has been collected, it is sent to the image/data processing cards. These cards perform heavy-duty filtering and the most algorithm-intensive image reconstruction. Once completed the final imaging and scaling functions for display are usually done on a single board computer (SBC). There are several variables that you need to consider before making component selections for the acquisition and processing cards. For example, depending on the number of channels per system and resolution required, you could choose:
- Off-the-shelf analog components or integrate the analog functionality into an ASIC
- Two-dimensional (2D) or three-dimensional (3D) imaging
- To partition image processing between the processing cards and the SBC
- Intel® FPGA SDK for OpenCL™ for algorithmic acceleration
Feature-Rich Programmable Solutions for Image Processing
Intel® FPGAs provide favorable solutions to designers of diagnostic imaging equipment. For cost-sensitive data acquisition cards, Intel Cyclone® FPGA and Intel Arria® FPGA family, which now offer abundant digital signal processing (DSP) blocks plus the lowest price per logic element (LE) compared to all other cost-optimized FPGA families, are excellent candidates.
The Intel Stratix FPGA families are ideal for data consolidation and image-processing cards. These families give system designers flexibility, performance, integration, and design resources not available elsewhere. The Intel Stratix FPGA family uses a high-performance architecture that accelerates block-based designs for maximum system performance. They include high-performance DSP blocks, embedded memory, up to 952,000 elements (LEs), and flexible I/O standards. Intel Stratix FPGA family can interface with external memory such as DDR3, RLDRAM II, FCRAM, QDRII, DDR, QDR, and SRAM. Intel Stratix FPGA family also feature multigigabit serial transceiver technology necessary to transport high-speed data across slip rings and backplanes.
The feature-rich SoC device family and Nios® II embedded processor affords unprecedented flexibility and performance at an incredible low price. SoC and Nios II processors can be used in place of a host microcontroller for motor control functions on auxiliary cards. Using FPGA devices on image processing cards, an embedded Nios II CPU or SoC coupled with DSP blocks as co-processors can replace one or more digital signal processors for significant cost reductions. With the Intel FPGA SDK for OpenCL, software programmers can now easily offload algorithmic functions acceleration to FPGA and take advantage of the faster-to-market design flow.
Intel also offers an extensive set of related intellectual property, development kits and reference designs for diagnostic imaging functions. Visit the links below to get started on your next design. See below.
Flexible Design Solutions
With the Intel FPGA Video and Image Processing Suite, medical imaging designers can now:
- Increase productivity
- Contain rising R & D costs
- Lower obsolescence risks
The Intel FPGA Video and Image Processing Suite includes a low-cost development kit, video processing reference designs, and key building block intellectual property (IP) cores from Intel and third party partners. You'll find that the Intel FPGA Video and Image Processing Suite works well in standalone FPGAs as well as digital signal processor plus FPGA coprocessing implementations.
Ideal for a Range of Equipment & Applications
An integrated tool flow combined with complete training help give the Intel FPGA Video and Image Processing Suite the modularity and flexibility you’ll need for a wide variety of medical imaging equipment and applications. In today’s medical equipment market environment, you need to rapidly develop imaging solutions for a range of equipment, including:
- MRI, CT scanning, ultrasound, and X-ray imaging systems
- Measuring and analysis instruments
- Optical manipulation and analysis equipment
- Surgical microscopes
- Telemedicine apparatus
You must also be able to create and implement a number of sophisticated application algorithms to make these imaging solutions a reality, including:
- Image analysis and pattern recognition
- Image enhancement and restoration
- Image and data compression
- Wavelet transform utilization
- Color space conversion
By utilizing building block IP cores and key features that have been modularized and integrated into Intel's video and image processing library together with other digital signal processing (DSP) cores from Intel and its partners, you can now implement these algorithms much more quickly and efficiently.
Building Block Cores
Intel’s video and image processing library consists of the following building block cores:
- 2D Finite Impulse Response (FIR) Filter
- 2D Median Filter
- Alpha Blending Mixer
- Color Space Converter
- Chroma Resampler
- Gamma Corrector
These building block cores each feature parameterized memory support, and can all easily be linked to one another. These features enable the efficient design of flexible, high-performance solutions on all Intel® Cyclone® and Intel® Stratix® series FPGAs.
Rapid development using The MathWorks algorithm tools is provided via the DSP Builder for Intel FPGAs tool. DSP Builder forms the bridge from The MathWorks algorithm development to the Intel® Quartus® Prime Design Software.
Complete details about how you can leverage Intel's video and image processing library of building blocks into your medical imaging application can be found in the Video and Image Processing Medical Imaging white paper (PDF).
Additional VIP Applications
Intel’s video and image processing library and reference designs are useful for video and imaging applications in a wide variety of industries, including:
- High-definition (HD) broadcast encoding, broadcast studio and videoconferencing
- Military and multi-channel video surveillance
- Small displays for automotive and military portable equipment
- Document imaging
To learn more, visit Intel's Video and Image Processing Solutions.