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The paper discusses the present trends in the design of low-noise front-end systems for room temperature semiconductor detectors. The technological advancement provided by submicron CMOS processes is examined from several points of view. The noise performances are a fundamental issue in most detector applications and suitable attention is devoted to them for the purpose of judging whether or not the present processes supersede the solutions featuring a field-effect transistor as a front-end element. However, other considerations are also important in judging how well a monolithic technology suits the front-end design. Among them, the way a technology lends itself to the realization of additional functions, for instance, the charge reset in a charge-sensitive loop or the time-variant filters featuring the special weighting functions that may be requested in some applications of CdTe or CZT detectors.