This letter describes the low‐frequency noise characteristics in forward operation of near‐ideal n+p junction diodes fabricated in different p‐type silicon substrates. The highest noise is found typically in Czochralski substrates, while float‐zone and epitaxial diodes yield a lower noise magnitude. The spectra are 1/fβ‐like for low‐frequency f and frequency independent for larger f, whereby the frequency exponent β changes from slightly below to slightly above 1 with increasing forward bias. The spectral density SI at constant frequency shows a Iν dependence, with ν close to 1.5 for near‐ideal diodes. Furthermore, there exists a close relationship between the static diode characteristics (the ideality factor) and the low‐frequency noise magnitude. The experimental observations are not in agreement with the Kleinpenning formulation for the diffusion noise in the quasineutral region of the diode, but suggest on the contrary a generation‐recombination origin. © 1995 American Institute of Physics.