Extended I/O Solution
Verasonics now provides an Extended I/O solution for Vantage™ Research Ultrasound Systems. This new Extended I/O solution expands the available inputs and outputs to simplify the process of incorporating the acquisition of lower frequency, non-ultrasonic data with simultaneously acquired ultrasonic data. This option is delivered through a National Instruments (NI*) multifunction PCIe card installed in the host Controller and software to interface the device with the Vantage programming model. This software abstracts low level programming of the device providing control of the Extended I/O options through definition of MATLAB ® structures in a similar manner to standard Vantage acquisition parameters. This enables simple integration of measurements from external devices within the event sequence using a programming model familiar to existing Vantage users.
The Extended I/O solution includes support for up to four quadrature encoder inputs which can be used to reference position information to individual ultrasound acquisitions or data frames, typically for use in automated scanning measurements. Alternatively, the encoder inputs allow for “pulse on position” operation for which ultrasound acquisitions are triggered upon some specified increment of encoder count.
Similarly, the Extended I/O solution includes 8 differential 16-bit analog inputs. These can be used for either on-demand acquisitions which read the scalar voltage value at the time of specified sequence events or sampled continually at a user specified rate (up to 250 kHz) and buffered internally. On-demand measurements would typically be used for referencing of ultrasound acquisitions to external sensor measurements such as position, temperature, etc. Buffered voltage readings are used when a given measurement must be sampled continuously during and in parallel to an ultrasound acquisition sequence, such as is the case for physiological measurements (i.e., EKGs, thermometers, arterial pressure, etc.). These buffered acquisitions can be initiated from the Vantage output trigger, allowing for precise timing relative to the ultrasonic acquisitions. Extended I/O data can be saved to a user-specified data buffer and is also available during the event sequence for external processing or to be displayed in real-time within a Graphical User Interface. Additionally, the Extended I/O Solution includes two analog outputs and a TTL-compatible, 8-bit digital parallel port, both of which can be controlled within the Vantage event sequence.