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.
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