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Proceedings Paper

Fundamental performance differences between CMOS and CCD imagers: Part 1
Author(s): James Janesick; James T. Andrews; Tom Elliott
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Paper Abstract

In depth characterization of CMOS arrays is unveiling many characteristics not observed in CCD imagers. This paper is the first of a series of papers that will discuss unique CMOS characteristics related to fundamental performance differences between CMOS and CCD imagers with emphasis on scientific arrays. The first topic will show that CMOS read noise is ultimately limited by a phenomenon referred to as random telegraph signal (RTS) noise. RTS theory and experimental data discuss its creation, time and frequency domain characteristics, wide variance from pixel to pixel and magnitude on the sensor's overall read noise floor. Specific operating parameters that control and lower RTS noise are identified. It is shown how correlated double sampling (CDS) signal processing responds to RTS noise and demonstrate that sub electron CMOS read noise performance is possible. The paper also discusses CMOS sensitivity (V/e-) nonlinearity, an effect not familiar to CCD users. The problem plays havoc on conventional photon transfer analysis that leads to serious measurement errors. New photon transfer relations are developed to deal with the problem. Nonlinearity for custom CMOS pixels is shown to be beneficial for lowering read noise and extending dynamic range. The paper closes with a section on the high performance CMOS array used to generated data products presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 June 2006
PDF: 19 pages
Proc. SPIE 6276, High Energy, Optical, and Infrared Detectors for Astronomy II, 62760M (15 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.678867
Show Author Affiliations
James Janesick, Sarnoff Corp. (United States)
James T. Andrews, Sarnoff Corp. (United States)
Tom Elliott, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6276:
High Energy, Optical, and Infrared Detectors for Astronomy II
David A. Dorn; Andrew D. Holland, Editor(s)

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