Recording Electronic Information


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.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Joana Maria Doria Vaz Pinto Morais Sarmento


Weekly - 5

Total - 84

Teaching language



The proposed minimum requisites to this curricular unit are

- Physics II (Eletromagnetism)

- Microelectronics I (Optional)


  • 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

This curricular unit has classes TP and practical.

 TP classes are suported by powerpoint slides in english and will be teached in either portuguese or english language. In each class, references about the concepts discussed in class will be provided to assit on further reading.

Practical classes will be Exercize Solving concerning the themes talked during the TP classes, held in a classroom, or laboratory classes held in a Laboratory, where exploratory experimental activities will be performed about the technologies and themes discussed in the theoretical classes.

Evaluation method

The evaluation of GEI has a theoretical component (50%) and a practical component (50%).

Theoretical Component (50%):

3 theoretical mini-tests  (T1, T2 e T3), whre the final theoretical grade will be obtained by the average of  the 3 tests. t is mandatory atheoretical average grade higher that 9.5 values (out of 20 value scale) to achieve aprouval at GEI valores

Practical component (50%)

- Lab Sheets relative to 2 Laboratory experiments  L1  and L2 (20%)

- Paper Lab discussion of scientific papers choosen by the professors (L3) and that involve a group presentation to the rest of the class (15 %)

- 1 Individual questionaire related to laboratory experiments performed at Moodle platform (10 %)

Student participation and autonomy  (5%)

Frequency is mandatory and is given by participation of the prctical classes (at least 2/3 of the classes). The final grade will be the average of the grades of all practical components..

Subject matter

Theoretical Concepts

1.Introduction to Binary Representation

2. Memory and Storage technology: Classification and requisites

3. Storage devices: Magnetic Storage - HDD.

4. Semiconductor based memories; 

  • Fundamental components
  • RAM and ROM

5. SRAM      

6. DRAM 

7. ROM Memories (Mask ROM, PROM, EPROM)

8. Flash:

  •    Fabrication and Characterization Principles
  •     Optimization f materials and configurations
  •     Limitations

9. Emergent Memories RAM

  •  Ferroelectric RAM (FeRAM)
  • Phase Change Memories (PCM-RAM)
  • Resistive RAM ReRAM
  • CBRAM (Conductive Bridge RAM)
  • Memristors 


Programs where the course is taught: