Noise in Charge Domain Sampling Readouts

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MDPI Special Issue on the 2017 International Image Sensor Workshop publishes Delft University paper "Temporal Noise Analysis of Charge-Domain Sampling Readout Circuits for CMOS Image Sensors" by Xiaoliang Ge and Albert J. P. Theuwissen.

"In order to address the trade-off between the low input-referred noise and high dynamic range, a Gm-cell-based pixel together with a charge-domain correlated-double sampling (CDS) technique has been proposed to provide a way to efficiently embed a tunable conversion gain along the read-out path. Such readout topology, however, operates in a non-stationery large-signal behavior, and the statistical properties of its temporal noise are a function of time. Conventional noise analysis methods for CMOS image sensors are based on steady-state signal models, and therefore cannot be readily applied for Gm-cell-based pixels. In this paper, we develop analysis models for both thermal noise and flicker noise in Gm-cell-based pixels by employing the time-domain linear analysis approach and the non-stationary noise analysis theory, which help to quantitatively evaluate the temporal noise characteristic of Gm-cell-based pixels. Both models were numerically computed in MATLAB using design parameters of a prototype chip, and compared with both simulation and experimental results. The good agreement between the theoretical and measurement results verifies the effectiveness of the proposed noise analysis models."

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