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Open AccessArticle

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
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
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.
Sensors 2018, 18(3), 707; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18030707
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))
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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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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