Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia

Recording Electronic Information



Academic unit

Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia


Departamento de Ciências dos Materiais



Teacher in charge

Joana Maria Doria Vaz Pinto Morais Sarmento

Weekly hours


Total hours


Teaching language



At the end of the semester it is expected that the student achieves a strong knowledge of the different types or architectures and memories (volatile and nonvolatile) currently available, with particular focus in the flash technology. The student is expected to gain competences related to the electrical characterization of memory devices. The course will also focus the emergent memory technologies and the student will gain a deep inside into this area where new research activities will be developed in the Materials Science Department.


Although is not mandatory, we recomend that the students have some knowledge on optoelectronic Devices, and the concepts given in:

Fisica I, Eletromagnetismo (FisicaII ou Fisica III),


Subject matter

  • Overview of memory and storage technology: Classification and Requirements
  • Memory and Data Storage of Information: processing and storage
  • Semiconductor Memory devices: Architectures and components
  •                         CPU, RAM (SRAM, DRAM), ROM (Mask ROM, ROM, EPROM)
  • Optical Data Storage
  • Magnetic storage in Hard Drives
  • Flash technologies:
    1. Principles of fabrication and characterization.
    2. Engineered Optimization (materials, charge trapping layers, architectures)
    3. Limits
  • Ferroelectric random access memory (FRAM)
  • Phase change memory (PCM-RAM)
  • Resistive random access memory ReRAM
  • Conductive Bridge RAM (CBRAM)
  • Memristors for non-volatile memory


  • D. K. Schroder, Semiconductor Material and Device Characterization, 3rd ed., Wiley (2006).
  • A.K. Sharma, Advanced Semiconductor Memories: Architectures, Designs and Applications, Wiley -IEEE Press, (2002).
  • Hai Li and Yiran Chen, Nonvolatile Memory Design: Magnetic, Resistive, and Phase Changing, CRC Press, (2011).
  • B. Jacob, S.W. Ng, D.T. Wang, Memory Systems: Cache, DRAM, Disk, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, Elsevier, (2008).
  • M.A. Plonus, Applied Electromagnetics, McGraw-Hill (1986)

Teaching method

The classes consist of theoretical-practical classes (TP) and practical classes (P).

In TP, the theoretical concepts behind the storage and memory devices are presented, and the technology is always related to fabrication and characterization techniques already presented in other curricular units.

The classes P include sessions for solving problems, sessions for inspecting and exploration of commercial memory devices (magnetic, optical and semiconductor) and sessions where microelectronic devices produced at the laboratory are tested.

Several mini-tests of 15 minutes will be performed along the semester to evaluate the transmission of the concepts and integrate the student in the ongoing experimental sessions. At the end the students will realize a group mini project in specific themes and will present to the class the theme, being evaluated in terms of the quality of the material presented, the team work and an individual contribution.

Evaluation method

The Final Score is obtained by considering two components, a theoretical and a practical.

The theoretical component will account for 50% of the final score and can be obtained through: i) the realization of two tests along the semester (T1 and T2) or ii) the realization of a final exam at the end of the semester. For approval at the curricular unit, the average of both tests (or the exam) should be higher than 9.5.

The practical component accounts for 50% of the final score and is obtained through the assistance of the practical clqasses - 10%,  the realization of group questionaires along the semester during the practical sessions (20%) and through the realization of individual Mini-tests MT - 20%.

Frequency is obtained with a practical component superior to 9.5