Are there physical limits to image quality for a given sensor size?

Started May 5, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Eric Fossum
Contributing MemberPosts: 949
Re: 2.5+ Stops away from perfect Photon Counting with Color Recording
In reply to Detail Man, May 8, 2013

I don't recall the details of the Stanford paper but when it refers to capacitance, I believe it refers to the capacitance of the floating diffusion (FD) attached to the gate of the transistor.

You are right that noise from the transistor itself gets worse with size assuming nothing else is done to reduce the transistor noise.  Scaling the FD capacitance with area increases the conversion gain (V/e-) which helps to overcome the 1/f noise.  Of course this also reduces the full well capacity of the FD and ultimately SNR.  A possible remedy to this is the digital integration sensor where multiple fast frames are added together after readout to restore the effective full well capacity.

There are many problems with shrinking pixels and maintaining performance.  This 1/f noise issue is one of them.

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