# Question about filtering noise (1/f)

#### daviddeakin

Joined Aug 6, 2009
207
In this Texas app note on current sources, on page 12 it talks about reducing noise by filtering it. But it states:

"Without the capacitor, noise from the current source would
feed directly through to the output. The capacitor filters the
noise at a 3dB frequency of 1/(2  π  R C), or about 30Hz
in this example. Filtering below this frequency will not
reduce noise further, since the 30Hz pole is already below
the 1/f corner of the current source, and noise can not be
reduced by filtering in the 1/f region."

http://www.ti.com/lit/an/sboa046/sboa046.pdf

But why would filtering below the 1/f corner not reduce noise further? Surely the more filtering we have, the better things get, whether it is 1/f noise or otherwise?

#### Veracohr

Joined Jan 3, 2011
750
That was a new one for me, I'd never heard of a 1/f 'corner'. But I found some useful reading sources and it seems that filtering in the 1/f region is practically difficult. I don't know if this is right, but my guess is that, because 1/f noise itself has a falling (spectral density) slope of 10dB/decade, the slope of a (single-pole) filter has less of an effect than it does on white noise, which is flat across the frequency spectrum. Kind of like the noise is keeping half a step ahead of the filter in a merry chase.

http://www.edn.com/electronics-blogs/the-signal/4408242/1-f-Noise-the-flickering-candle-
http://www.analog.com/static/imported-files/tutorials/MT-048.pdf

#### crutschow

Joined Mar 14, 2008
27,004
I believe in general you can filter 1/f noise but the circuit response can become very slow due to the very low frequencies you are trying to filter. In the particular case of the article you referenced they are referring to the specific FET design in Figure 31 where the intrinsic 1/f noise of the FET cannot be filtered with that circuit configuration.