A new class of CMOS imagers that compete with scientific CCDs is presented. The sensors are based on deep depletion backside illuminated technology to achieve high near infrared quantum efficiency and low pixel cross-talk. The imagers deliver very low read noise suitable for single photon counting - Fano-noise limited soft x-ray applications. Digital correlated double sampling signal processing necessary to achieve low read noise performance is analyzed and demonstrated for CMOS use. Detailed experimental data products generated by different pixel architectures (notably 3TPPD, 5TPPD and 6TPG designs) are presented including read noise, charge capacity, dynamic range, quantum efficiency, charge collection and transfer efficiency and dark current generation. Radiation damage data taken for the imagers is also reported.