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Memory Technologies for Data Storage

Module EI7240

This Module is offered by TUM Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Basic Information

EI7240 is a semester module in English language at Master’s level which is offered every semester.

This module description is valid from SS 2011 to WS 2019/20.

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
180 h 60 h 6 CP

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


The lecture will discuss technology details, limitations and challenges along the memory hierarchy in data storage systems.
semiconductor memories:
Emerging Memories:
-resistive memory technologies (STT, Memristor etc.)
-3D memory technologies
optical memories:
-CD, DVD, Blu-ray and extensions
-holographic memories
mechanical and magnetic memories:
-magnetic tape storage
-MEMS memories
historical memory devices

Learning Outcome

After completion of this course, the student
- 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 and high-k materials
- understands the basic physics and technology for phase-change and polymer materials for data storage
- knows architecture-based limitations of certain memory technologies (evaluate)
- has an overview of current nano-electronic challenges


Basic physical concepts, materials, electronic devices

The following modules should be passed before taking the course:
- Physik für Elektroingenieure
- Werkstoffe der Elektrotechnik
- Elektronische Bauelemente

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

Lecture with discussion
readings assignments, case studies
Individual and group exercises and group presentations

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.


hand-outs on Moodle


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 script

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

A written examination is at the end of the semester.
The written examination is with closed book policy and no calculators are allowed.
It consists of questions that cover the knowledge of the course contents, hand calculations and drawings that cover the ability to solve and explain problems arising from the course content and related background questions.

Exam Repetition

There is a possibility to take the exam in the following semester.

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