We report on the first implementation of a single photon avalanche diode (SPAD) in 130 nm complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) technology. The SPAD is fabricated as p+/n-well junction with octagonal shape. A guard ring of p-well around the p+ anode is used to prevent premature discharge. To investigate the dynamics of the new device, both active and passive quenching methods have been used. Single photon detection is achieved by sensing the avalanche using a fast comparator. The SPAD exhibits a maximum photon detection probability of 41% and a typical dark count rate of 100 kHz at room temperature. Thanks to its timing resolution of 144 ps full-width at half-maximum (FWHM), the SPAD has several uses in disparate disciplines, including medical imaging, 3-D vision, biophotonics, low-light illumination imaging, etc.