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Sensors 2018, 18(3), 707; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18030707

Temporal Noise Analysis of Charge-Domain Sampling Readout Circuits for CMOS Image Sensors

1
Electronic Instrumentation Laboratory, Delft University of Technology, 2628 CD Delft, The Netherlands
2
Harvest Imaging, 3960 Bree, Belgium
This paper is an expanded version of our paper published in Ge, X.; Theuwissen, A. A 0.5 e- rms Temporal-Noise CMOS Image Sensor with Charge-Domain CDS and Period-Controlled Variable Conversion-Gain. In Proceedings of the 2017 International Image Sensor Workshop, Hiroshima, Japan, 30 May–2 June 2017.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 November 2017 / Revised: 28 January 2018 / Accepted: 13 February 2018 / Published: 27 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Special Issue on the 2017 International Image Sensor Workshop (IISW))
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Abstract

This paper presents a temporal noise analysis of charge-domain sampling readout circuits for Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) image sensors. 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. View Full-Text
Keywords: charge-domain sampling; CMOS image sensor; low noise; non-steady-state signal analysis; dynamic range; pixel-level amplification charge-domain sampling; CMOS image sensor; low noise; non-steady-state signal analysis; dynamic range; pixel-level amplification
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Ge, X.; Theuwissen, A.J.P. Temporal Noise Analysis of Charge-Domain Sampling Readout Circuits for CMOS Image Sensors. Sensors 2018, 18, 707.

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