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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Hardware architecture interview questions

  1. Are you familiar with the term MESI?
  2. Are you familiar with the term snooping?
  3. Describe a finite state machine that will detect three consecutive coin tosses (of one coin) that results in heads.
  4. In what cases do you need to double clock a signal before presenting it to a synchronous state machine?
  5. You have a driver that drives a long signal & connects to an input device. At the input device there is either overshoot, undershoot or signal threshold violations, what can be done to correct this problem?
  6. For a single computer processor computer system, what is the purpose of a processor cache and describe its operation?
  7. Explain the operation considering a two processor computer system with a cache for each processor.
  8. What are the main issues associated with multiprocessor caches and how might you solve it?
  9. Explain the difference between write through and write back cache.
  10. What are the total number of lines written in C/C++? What is the most complicated/valuable program written in C/C++?
  11. What compiler was used?
  12. Have you studied busses? What types?
  13. Have you studied pipelining? List the 5 stages of a 5 stage pipeline. Assuming 1 clock per stage, what is the latency of an instruction in a 5 stage machine? What is the throughput of this machine ?
  14. How many bit combinations are there in a byte?
  15. What is the difference between = and == in C?
  16. Are you familiar with VHDL and/or Verilog?

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