ECE 8823  Memory Device Technologies and Applications    

Offering: Fall 2018, Fall 2019 (Lecture Videos available at Youtube Link) and Fall 2021

Course Description:

The functionality and performance of today’s computer system is increasingly dependent on the characteristics of the memory components. This course covers the semiconductor memory technologies from the device bit-cell structures to the memory array design with an emphasis on the industry trend and cutting-edge technologies. The first part of the course discusses the mainstream semiconductor memory technologies that enable various levels in the memory hierarchy, including SRAM, DRAM, and FLASH. Issues such as basic operation principles, device physics, manufacturing processes, bit-cell design considerations, array architectures and technology scaling trends will be discussed. The second part of the course discusses the emerging memory candidates that may have the potential to change the memory hierarchy, including STT-MRAM, PCM, and RRAM, as well as their new applications beyond the conventional applications, including reconfigurable logic, non-volatile logic, processing-in-memory, deep learning accelerators and neuromorphic hardware.

Course Objectives

As part of this course, students

  • apply their knowledge to analyze the operations of a single memory bit-cell and its related stability, variability and reliability issues.
  • apply their knowledge to analyze the operations of a memory array with peripheral circuitry with appropriate read/write timing and biases.
  • understand the scaling trend of the mainstream memory technologies and the motivation for the emerging technologies.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to

  • Analyze and design of basic memory bit-cells including 6-transistor SRAM, 1-transistor-1-capacitor DRAM, and floating gate FLASH transistor.
  • Analyze and design of the peripheral circuits including the sense amplifier and array-level organization for the memory array.
  • Understand the industry trend of the memory technologies such as FinFET based SRAM, 3D TSV based DRAM, 3D NAND, and 3D X-point array.
  • Assess the pros and cons of emerging memory technologies such as STT-MRAM, PCM, and RRAM compared to the mainstream technologies.


ECE 3030 Physical Foundations of Computer Engineering

Offering: Summer 2019, Spring 2020 (Lecture Videos available at Youtube Link), Fall 2020 (Lecture Videos available at Youtube Link) and Spring 2022

Course Outline

  • Resistors and Interconnects
  • Semiconductor Physics

          –From bond model to band model

          –Carrier statistics (electrons and holes)

          –Carrier transport (drift and diffusion)

  • Transistor- MOSFET

          –p/n junction, I-V, band diagram

          –MOS-Cap, Electrostatics, band diagram perpendicular to channel

          –Id-Vd and Id-Vg curves, band diagram along channel

          –Subthreshold current and standby leakage

  • CMOS Inverter

         –Voltage transfer curve

         –Noise margin



  • CMOS Scaling
  • Memory Technologies




  • Advanced CMOS Technologies