20 System on Chip Interview Questions and Answers

Prepare for the types of questions you are likely to be asked when interviewing for a position where System on Chip will be used.

System on Chip (SoC) is a type of integrated circuit that combines all the necessary components for a complete system onto a single chip. This technology is used in a variety of electronic devices, from cell phones to computers. When interviewing for a position that uses SoC technology, it is important to be prepared to answer questions about the design, implementation, and testing of these systems. In this article, we will review some common SoC interview questions and provide tips on how to answer them.

System on Chip Interview Questions and Answers

Here are 20 commonly asked System on Chip interview questions and answers to prepare you for your interview:

1. What is a System on Chip?

A System on Chip (SoC) is an integrated circuit (IC) that contains all the necessary components for a complete system on a single chip. This includes the processor, memory, input/output (I/O) controllers, and other peripherals. SoCs are used in a variety of electronic devices, from smartphones to automobiles.

2. What are the main components of an SoC?

The main components of an SoC are the central processing unit (CPU), the graphics processing unit (GPU), the memory, and the input/output (I/O) controllers.

3. Can you explain what a CPU, MCU and FPGA are? How do they differ?

A CPU is a central processing unit, which is the main chip in a computer that carries out all the instructions of a program. An MCU is a microcontroller unit, which is a chip that contains a CPU as well as other components of a computer, such as memory, input/output ports, and timers. An FPGA is a field-programmable gate array, which is a chip that can be programmed to carry out the functions of a CPU or other logic device.

4. Can you name some popular SoCs that are used today?

Some popular SoCs that are used today include the Qualcomm Snapdragon, the Apple A-series, the Samsung Exynos, and the MediaTek Helio.

5. Why would someone use a SoC versus a full-fledged computer system like a laptop or desktop PC?

There are a few reasons why someone might choose to use an SoC over a more traditional computer system. One reason is that SoCs are much smaller and more compact than a full-fledged computer system, which makes them ideal for use in portable devices. Another reason is that SoCs are typically more power-efficient than traditional computer systems, which is important in battery-operated devices. Finally, SoCs typically have a lower manufacturing cost than traditional computer systems, which makes them attractive for use in mass-produced consumer electronics.

6. What are the advantages of using an SoC over a regular processor?

There are several advantages of using an SoC over a regular processor. One is that SoCs can be more power efficient since they integrate all of the necessary components onto one chip. This can also lead to smaller overall device size. SoCs can also be more cost effective since they require fewer external components. In addition, SoCs can be more reliable since there are fewer potential points of failure.

7. Where are SoCs used in everyday life?

SoCs are used in a wide variety of electronic devices, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers. They are also used in many home appliances, such as televisions, washing machines, and dishwashers. In addition, SoCs are used in automobiles, aircraft, and industrial control systems.

8. What’s the difference between a microprocessor and a microcontroller?

A microprocessor is a central processing unit (CPU) that performs all the instructions that make up a computer program. A microcontroller, on the other hand, is a CPU that is designed to work with specific types of peripherals and is often found in embedded systems.

9. What’s the difference between a single board computer and an SoC?

A single board computer (SBC) is a computer that is built on a single circuit board. An SoC, on the other hand, is a computer that has all of its components integrated onto a single chip.

10. Are all SoCs based on ARM designs?

No, not all SoCs are based on ARM designs. In fact, there are a variety of different architectures that are used for SoCs. However, ARM designs are certainly the most popular choice for many manufacturers.

11. What are the different types of ASICs?

There are three main types of ASICs: full custom, standard cell, and gate array. Full custom ASICs are designed from scratch and are the most expensive to produce. Standard cell ASICs use pre-designed blocks of logic that are then interconnected to create the desired circuit. Gate array ASICs have a pre-defined layout of logic gates that can be interconnected to create the desired circuit.

12. What is the difference between Programmable Logic Devices (PLDs) and Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs)?

PLDs are devices that have been programmed to perform a specific function or set of functions. FPGAs are devices that can be programmed to perform any number of functions. FPGAs are more versatile than PLDs, but they are also more expensive.

13. What is the difference between a Central Processing Unit (CPU) and a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)?

A CPU is responsible for carrying out the instructions of a computer program, and is typically found in personal computers. A GPU, on the other hand, is designed to handle the computationally intensive task of rendering graphics. GPUs are often found in computers that are used for gaming or other graphics-heavy applications.

14. What are microprocessors?

Microprocessors are tiny processors that are used to power many of the electronic devices that we use today. They are found in everything from computers and cell phones to cars and microwaves. Microprocessors are responsible for carrying out the instructions of a computer program, and they can be found in just about any electronic device you can think of.

15. What is the difference between hardware and software?

Hardware refers to the physical components of a system, such as the processor, memory, and storage, while software is the code that runs on the hardware and tells the system what to do.

16. What are embedded systems?

Embedded systems are computer systems that are designed to perform a specific task, and are often found in devices that are not traditionally thought of as computers, such as cars, TVs, and microwaves.

17. What is bootstrapping?

Bootstrapping is the process of loading a program into memory and executing it. This is typically done by the computer’s BIOS or bootloader.

18. What are firmware and device drivers?

Firmware is a type of software that is stored in a device’s read-only memory. It is responsible for low-level tasks such as booting the device and providing basic functionality. Device drivers are software that enable communication between a device and the operating system. They are responsible for tasks such as translating commands from the operating system into actions that the device can understand.

19. What is computing architecture?

Computing architecture refers to the overall design and layout of a computer system. This includes the hardware, software, and networking components, as well as how they are all interconnected.

20. What is System Architecture?

System architecture is the high level design of a system. It defines the overall structure and behaviour of a system.


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