Senior design engineer Interview Questions


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Senior Design Engineer was asked...January 12, 2011

A key is broken on your laptop keyboard. How do you work around it until you can get a new keyboard?

5 Answers

Plug in a spare USB keyboard in the office with the key that works.

Since you are in design engineering, continue to submit your designs without that pesky letter and you can fix the problems later. Given the amount of buggy HW and SW that is being shipped from Oracle these days, my guess is that there are a number of design engineers with broken keyboards at Oracle. Less

Report the problem to the helpdesk and then tell your boss that you can't work because your equipment is malfunctioning and you need to wait for a repair. Go home and surf open job postings and relax. Less

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Larsen & Toubro

what should be the approximate diameter of household electrical wires? Explain: Household voltage system

3 Answers

If small household 2.0 wire it okay without high voltage if their then 2.5 for A. C, Owen, many other Less

House 2.0 and 2.5ac

15 mtrs


(Unexpected) What the types of caches?

3 Answers

two types: fully associative cache and N-way associative cache

1. Fully Associative. 2. Direct Mapped. 3. Set Associative

L1, L2 and L3 caches


Most difficult was how would you write a script to calculate the latency of a PCIE bus given a data base of several transactions, and their completions. An easier one that was asked that was unexpected, given I am more HW is: Write a function to detect a one-hot encoded state variable. I sort of bombed it at the interview, but looked into the solution in detail after the interview.

3 Answers

function bit isonehot(bit[3:0] sm); bit[3:0] temp; temp = sm - 1; temp = temp & sm; return isonehot = ~(|temp); endfunction Less

There's a lot of elements to typically cover in these questions, clarifications, scoping, making sure you're answering the actual question the interviewer is looking for you to answer, etc. Could be worth doing a mock interview with one of the Prepfully Xilinx Senior Design Engineer experts... they've worked in the role so they clearly know how to get through the interview. Less

// One-Hot Checker function int one_hot_check (reg [31:0] state); automatic bit detected_one = 1'd0; // Flag set when bit i == 1 // Sweep through integer for(int i=0;i<32;i++) begin $display("Bit %d is %d",i,state[i]); if(state[i] & ~detected_one) detected_one = 1'd1; else if(state[i] & detected_one) return 0; end // If we did not detect any 1, return 0, if we did detect a single 1, return 1 return detected_one; endfunction Less


In saturation, the channel region pinches off well before the drain. How does current get from the source to drain then? (Since the channel is pinched off, it does not touch the drain)

3 Answers

Its drift, there is an electric field across the depletion region, whenever an electron diffuses into the depletion region, the electric field sweeps it across the the drain, the current thus depends on the diffusion into the depeletion region rather than the electric field strength so current is relatively constant in saturation. Less

This is an excellent question and the last answer by anonymous is very correct. I will try to elaborate further. Now, when the channel is pinched off, this is due to an extension of the depletion region between the drain and the bulk into the channel region, thus due to the large(+ve) E field from drain to source, Electrons are swept into the n+(drain) region, thus u have drift current due to this movement! Now technically speaking, whenever you have a depletion region btw the N+ and P material, the current flow contribution is not only due to Drift, you have Diffusion contribution also but is assumed negligible compared to Drift current! Less



Reverse a sentence but keep the individual words in the same order

2 Answers

What data structure solution has order 1 look up and is always sorted?

Complexity is O(n). Note. string is immutable object so I used stringbuilder for inplace reversal. class ReverseWords { public static void Reverse(ref StringBuilder strInput) { //Reverse the entire sentence Reverse(ref strInput, 0, strInput.Length - 1); //Reverse the words withing reverse sentence int startIndex = 0; int endIndex = 0; while (endIndex < strInput.Length) { if (endIndex == strInput.Length - 1) { Reverse(ref strInput, startIndex, endIndex); startIndex = endIndex + 1; } else if (strInput[endIndex] == ' ') { Reverse(ref strInput, startIndex, endIndex - 1); startIndex = endIndex + 1; } endIndex++; } } private static void Reverse(ref StringBuilder strInput, int startIndex, int endIndex) { for (int i = startIndex; i <= (endIndex + startIndex)/ 2; i++) { char temp = strInput[i]; strInput[i] = strInput[endIndex + startIndex - i]; strInput[endIndex + startIndex - i] = temp; } } } Less


What was the last mechanical design item you completed?

2 Answers

Gave an example of my current job.

Latest design was done on a large plastic component. This has role of an carrier for electrical components and also as an isolator for high voltage currents. Less


What keeps you awake at night?

2 Answers

Nothing. I usually get my job done and sleep like a baby

A rigorous QA/QC process which ensures consistency across construction plans, similar application of products across jobs and a continuous flow of quality checks during engineering and construction. Less

Freescale Semiconductor

describe the most difficult supervisor role task you have been given

1 Answers

described a case where I had to identify an individual for the bottom 5% ranking distribution and layout a performance improvement plan for them to achieve Less

Iota Engineering

Are you confident in doing product design again

1 Answers

Of course

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