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This paper presents a study of the noise behavior of submicron CMOS transistors, in view of applications to high-density mixed-signal front-end systems for high-granularity detectors. The goal of this work is extending the knowledge in this field, presently focused on 0.25 μm processes, to the following generation of CMOS technologies (with 0.18 μm minimum gate length). The white component of the noise voltage spectrum, which is most important for fast signal processing, and the 1/f noise contribution are experimentally characterized with noise measurements in a wide frequency range. The results of this analysis are used to establish low-noise design criteria concerning the choice of the polarity and of the channel dimensions (length and width) of the preamplifier input device in low-power operating conditions. A comparison with similar noise measurements on CMOS devices belonging to a 0.35 μm process allows estimating the impact of gate-length scaling on both white and 1/f noise components. The noise radiation tolerance is also a key parameter for many front-end systems. It was evaluated by exposing the devices to high doses of ionizing radiation.