Comparative evaluation of analogue front-end designs for the CMS Inner Tracker at the High Luminosity LHC

Document Type



The CMS Inner Tracker, made of silicon pixel modules, will be entirely replaced prior to the start of the High Luminosity LHC period. One of the crucial components of the new Inner Tracker system is the readout chip, being developed by the RD53 Collaboration, and in particular its analogue front-end, which receives the signal from the sensor and digitizes it. Three different analogue front-ends (Synchronous, Linear, and Differential) were designed and implemented in the RD53A demonstrator chip. A dedicated evaluation program was carried out to select the most suitable design to build a radiation tolerant pixel detector able to sustain high particle rates with high efficiency and a small fraction of spurious pixel hits. The test results showed that all three analogue front-ends presented strong points, but also limitations. The Differential front-end demonstrated very low noise, but the threshold tuning became problematic after irradiation. Moreover, a saturation in the preamplifier feedback loop affected the return of the signal to baseline and thus increased the dead time. The Synchronous front-end showed very good timing performance, but also higher noise. For the Linear front-end all of the parameters were within specification, although this design had the largest time walk. This limitation was addressed and mitigated in an improved design. The analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of the three front-ends in the context of the CMS Inner Tracker operation requirements led to the selection of the improved design Linear front-end for integration in the final CMS readout chip.


Physics and Engineering

Publication Title

Journal of Instrumentation





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The CMS Collaboration includes over 100 authors. This record includes the Bethel author and the first 5 authors listed. The full list of authors can be viewed on the downloaded document or at the original publisher's website - https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-0221/16/12/P12014