The Future of Medical Imaging is Software Only Solutions

April 19th, 2013 by

By Andy The

Here is point-of-view paper from Texas Instruments on how medical imaging is trending toward using of DSPs.

I totally disagree with its premise.

Yes, there are areas in medical imaging where proprietary architectures are needed, but the real trend is moving away from proprietary architectures and toward software-only solutions on general purpose processors (GPPs).

For many years, medical imaging products like MRIs and CT scanners have used proprietary hardware like DSPs and FPGAs because of their sheer processing power.  Despite the performance, managing the software in these proprietary architectures proved difficult to implement and maintain.   Many times this specialized software required unique skills and tooling that were expensive and hard to find.

With recent multicore advances from Intel and AMD, today’s GPPs match – and many times surpass – the performance of DSPs and FPGAs.  In addition to high performance, GPPs enable users to manage their software workflow in C/C++ while using standardized tooling like Visual Studio.  These software capabilities provide an easy to use and easy to modify workflow that cannot be found with DSPs and FPGAs.

In the end there will be some medical imaging products that use proprietary hardware, but these products will be the minority.  As Intel and AMD continue with their multicore advances we will see the medical imaging masses moving toward a software only implementations on multicore GPPs.




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