Saturday, May 15, 2021

SPAD Size Scaling Trade-offs

EPFL and Canon publish an MDPI paper "A Scaling Law for SPAD Pixel Miniaturization" by Kazuhiro Morimoto and Edoardo Charbon.

"The growing demands on compact and high-definition single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) arrays have motivated researchers to explore pixel miniaturization techniques to achieve sub-10 um pixels. The scaling of the SPAD pixel size has an impact on key performance metrics, and it is, thereby, critical to conduct a systematic analysis of the underlying tradeoffs in miniaturized SPADs. On the basis of the general assumptions and constraints for layout geometry, we performed an analytical formulation of the scaling laws for the key metrics, such as the fill factor (FF), photon detection probability (PDP), dark count rate (DCR), correlated noise, and power consumption. Numerical calculations for various parameter sets indicated that some of the metrics, such as the DCR and power consumption, were improved by pixel miniaturization, whereas other metrics, such as the FF and PDP, were degraded. Comparison of the theoretically estimated scaling trends with previously published experimental results suggests that the scaling law analysis is in good agreement with practical SPAD devices. Our scaling law analysis could provide a useful tool to conduct a detailed performance comparison between various process, device, and layout configurations, which is essential for pushing the limit of SPAD pixel miniaturization toward sub-2 um-pitch SPADs."

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