Managing Noise in the Signal Chain, Part 1: Annoying Semiconductor Noise, Preventable or Inescapable?

Abstract: Generally speaking, noise is any electrical phenomenon that is unwelcomed in an electrical system. This article is the first of a three-part series about noise in the signal chain. Here we focus on the internal sources of noise found in all semiconductor devices: thermal, shot, avalanche, flicker, and popcorn noise. A procedure to estimate noise voltage will be given along with an example. Finally, a free calculator is presented that aids in estimating noise under conditions that are not specified in a device data sheet.