To enable wireless MRI receive arrays, per-channel power consumption must be reduced by a significant factor. To address this, a low-power SiGe alternative to industry standard MRI pre-amplifier blocks has been proposed and its impact on imaging performance evaluated in a benchtop environment. The SiGe amplifier reduces power consumption 28x, but exhibits increased non-linearity and reduced dynamic range relative to industry standard amplifiers. This distorts the images, causing reduced contrast and a blurring of fine features. In conjunction with the amplifier, a semi-blind calibration and compensation framework has been proposed to remove artifacts caused by this non-linearity. Requiring the knowledge of the calibration signal bandwidth, the associated peak transmit powers, and the distorted baseband signals, a second non-linearity is constructed that when cascaded with the receive chain produces a linear response. This method was evaluated for both knee and phantom image datasets of peak input power -20dBm with a -40dBm peak input power image as reference. In the benchtop environment, industry standard amplifiers produced input normalized RMSEs of 0.0199 and 0.0310 for phantom and knee datasets, respectively. The low-power SiGe amplifier resulted in RMSEs of 0.0869 and 0.1130 which were reduced to 0.0158 and 0.0168 following compensation, for phantom and knee images respectively. The ability to effectively compensate for this reduced dynamic range encourages further investigation of low-power SiGe amplifiers for power limited MRI receive arrays.
View details for DOI 10.1109/TMI.2022.3195656
View details for PubMedID 35914030