Memory Technology for Data Storage

Module Number: EIneu

Druation: one semester

Occurance: winter semester and summer semester

Language: English

Number of ECTS: 5


Professor in charge: Franz Kreupl

Description of Achievement and Assessment Methods

60 minutes examination with the following elements:
- Written examination, closed books, no notes
- It consists of questions that cover the knowledge of all the diverse memory technologies that have been explained, hand calculations and drawings that cover the ability to solve and explain problems arising from the used technologies and related background questions. Examples for typical exam questions are the questions in the exercises.

Prerequisites (recommended)

Basic Physical concepts, materials, electronic devices
The following modules should be passed before taking the course:
- Physik für Elektroingenieure
- Werkstoffe der Elektrotechnik
- Elektronische Bauelemente

Intended Learning Outcomes

After completion of this course, the student
- understands advanced patterning, litho and layout techniques
- understands advanced transistor concepts like FinFet, Gate-all-Around FET, FD-SOI and MCBFETs
- knows the economic and performance aspects of the memory hierarchy (evaluate)
- is able to evaluate pros and cons of different memory technologies
- knows which memory to choose for a given application (apply)
- knows what technology to choose for having memory w/o extra masks (apply)
- knows a metric how to benchmark different memory technologies (evaluate)
- knows the physical limitation for each memory technology (evaluate)
- knows the physical challenges for each technology (evaluate)
- understands the basic physics and technology for semiconductor memories
- understands the basic physics and technology for magnetic storage
- understands the basic physics and technology of insulators, high-k and metal gate materials
- understands the basic physics and technology for phase-change materials for data storage
- knows architecture-based limitations of certain memory technologies (evaluate)
- has an overview of current nano-electronic challenges


Without memory technologies we would not be able to live our connected lifestyle. Memory is the core of our tablets, PCs, smart phones, servers, cloud services, deep learning hardware and the basis of almost all complex electronics. Understanding how different memory technologies work and where their limitations are is crucial for most applications.

Memory technology operates at the forefront of semiconductor technology and production. Memory technology uses the most advanced lithography tricks and the latest transistor designs in combination with novel electronic materials. Therefore, you will touch base with the latest challenges in nanoelectronics and learn how to live with them or how to mitigate them.

The lecture will discuss technology details, limitations and challenges along the memory hierarchy in data storage systems.
semiconductor memories:
-Soft errors (SER)
-PCRAM (3D XPoint)
-OTP like e-Fuse, Antifuse, eMemory, Kilopass, Synopsis, NSCore
Emerging Memories:
-resistive memory technologies (Memristor etc.)
-3D memory technologies
-mechanical and magnetic memories:
-magnetic tape storage
historical memory devices

Teaching and Learning Methods

Lecture with discussion
readings assignments, case studies
Individual and group exercises
In addition to the individual student's methods a consolidated
knowledge is targeted by repeated lessons in exercises and tutorials.
Teaching method:
During the lectures students are instructed in a teacher-centered style. The exercises are held in a student-centered way.


e-learning Moodle

Reading List

The Art of Assembly Language, Randy Hall, eBook:
Volume 2: The basic system components
Volume 2: Memory architecture 6.1 - 6.6
Memory Systems: Cache, DRAM, Disk. Bruce Jacob, Spencer W. Ng, and David T. Wang, with contributions by Samuel Rodriguez. ISBN 978-0-12-379751-3, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, September 2007
Individual handouts and scripts on Moodle