Burst noise

Burst noise is a type of electronic noise that occurs in semiconductors. It is also called popcorn noise, impulse noise, bi-stable noise, or random telegraph signal (RTS) noise.

It consists of sudden step-like transitions between two or more discrete voltage or current levels, as high as several hundred microvolts, at random and unpredictable times. Each shift in offset voltage or current often lasts from several milliseconds to seconds, and sounds like popcorn popping if hooked up to an audio speaker. [ [http://www.stanford.edu/~bipin/research/Noise.pdf#page=11 Random Telegraph Signal] — Review of Noise in Semiconductor Devices and Modeling of Noise in Surrounding Gate MOSFET, Bipin Rajendran]

Popcorn noise was first observed in early point contact diodes, then re-discovered during the commericalization of one of the first semiconductor op-amps; the 709. [http://www.intersil.com/data/an/an519.pdf Operational Amplifier Noise Prediction] — Intersil Application Note] No single source of popcorn noise is theorized to explain all occurances, however the most commonly invoked cause is the random trapping and release of charge carriers at thin film interfaces or at defect sites in bulk semiconductor crystal. In cases where these charges have a significant impact on transistor performance (such as under an MOS gate or in a bipolar base region), the output signal can be substantial. These defects can be caused by manufacturing processes, such as heavy ion implantation, or by unintential side-effects suh as surface contamination. [ [http://focus.ti.com/analog/docs/techdocsabstract.tsp?familyId=78&abstractName=slva043a Noise Analysis In Operational Amplifier Circuits] — Texas Instruments application report] [ [http://web.mit.edu/klund/www/CMOSnoise.pdf#page=9 Noise Sources in Bulk CMOS] — Kent H. Lundberg]

Individual op-amps can be screened for popcorn noise with peak detector circuits, to minimize the amount of noise in a specific application.

See also

* Shot noise
* Flicker noise
* Thermal noise

References


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