San Diego Convention Center
San Diego, California, United States
11 - 15 August 2019
Course (SC1273)
Introduction to magnetic random access memory (MRAM): Fundamentals, current status, and emerging device concepts
  • Instructor:
  • Pedram Khalili, Northwestern Univ. (United States);
Monday 12 August 2019
8:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Course Canceled
  • Course Level:
  • Introductory
  • CEU:
  • 0.4
This course introduces the students to one of the key emerging memory technologies in the semiconductor industry: Magnetic random access memory (MRAM). We review the changing paradigm of computing in the era of artificial intelligence, and the resulting need for new high-performance and high-density embedded memory technologies. We present the basics of MRAM, from device concepts to circuits, and the current implementation status of spin-transfer torque memory (STT-MRAM) across the industry. We then discuss scalability, density and performance challenges of STT-MRAM, and review emerging device concepts that attempt to overcome these. Among these, we will discuss voltage-controlled and spin-orbit torque MRAMs, and their key device and material considerations.
Learning Outcomes
  • describe the fundamental operation principles, device, and circuit architectures of MRAM
  • explain the spin-transfer torque (STT) write mechanism widely adopted in today’s MRAM
  • identify the key performance metrics, challenges and tradeoffs of STT-MRAM
  • compare different types of emerging (beyond-STT) MRAM technology concepts
Scientists, engineers, or managers who wish to learn more about the fundamentals of MRAM, its current status in the industry, and its outlook and potential future technology generations. Undergraduate training in engineering or science is assumed.
About the
Pedram Khalili (PhD 2008, Delft University of Technology) is Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Northwestern University, and director of the Physical Electronics Research Laboratory (PERL). Prior to joining Northwestern, he was an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he was co-leader of the memory program within the NSF TANMS engineering research center. In 2012 he co-founded Inston Inc., a startup company where he served as board member and chief technology officer until 2017. He and his team placed top-6 out of 3,000 entries worldwide in the Cisco Innovation Grand Challenge in 2015. Pedram has published 100+ papers in peer reviewed journals and holds 15 issued US patents. He is on the editorial board of Journal of Physics: Photonics, and is a Senior Member of the IEEE.
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