Interview Questions on Embedded Processors [Part-I]

This post is all about discussion of interview questions on embedded processors [Part-I]. Here we’ll discuss topics on microprocessor & microcontroller technology. I’ve divided article into two parts. This post covers most of questions based on basics of microprocessor and microcontroller. I believe this post will be helpful to prepare for an interview of entry level position.

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What is Microprocessor?

Microprocessor is a CPU fabricated on a single chip program controlled device, which fetched the instructions from memory, decodes and execute the instructions. Three basic characteristic differentiate microprocessor.

  • Instruction Set: The set of instruction microprocessor can execute.
  • Bandwidth: The number of bit’s processed in a single instruction
  • Clock Speed: Given in MHz Megahertz, the clock speed determines how many instructions per second the processor can execute.

In addition to this, microprocessors are classified as being RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) or CISC (Complex Instruction Set Computer).

What are the basic units of Microprocessor?

The basic units or block of microprocessor are ALU, an Array of Registers and control unit.

Give Examples for8/16/32-bit Microprocessor?

  • 8-bit Processors- 8085, Z80, 6800
  • 16-bit Processors- 8086, 68000, Z8000
  • 32-bit Processors- 80386, 80486
  • 64-bit Processors- Intel 64(x64), AMD64, IBM (Power PC), SUN (SPARC).

What are 1st/ 2nd/3rd/4th generation processors?

The processors made of PMOS, NMOS, HMOS, HCMOS technology are called 1st/ 2nd/3rd/4th generation processor’s and are made up of 4, 8, 16, 32-bits.

What does microprocessor speed depends on?

The speed of microprocessor depends on various factors such as Data Bus Width (Number of instruction it processes) and clock speed.

What is Software and Hardware?

The software is set of instruction or commands needed for performing a specific task by programmable device or a computing machine. The hardware refers to the component or device used to form computing machine in which software can be run and tested. Without software hardware is idle machine.

Distinguish between microprocessor and microcontroller?

The microprocessor is a digital integrated circuit that can be programmed with a series of instructions to perform a specified function on data. The microcontroller is tiny little computer on single integrated circuit, which has memory, input-output on chip itself. So we can say microprocessor can perform few functions but microcontroller can perform many functions.

What are disadvantages of Microprocessor?

Microprocessor has limitation on size of data. Most microprocessor does not support floating point operation.

What is the difference between microprocessor and microcontroller?

In microprocessor more op-codes, few bit handling instructions but in microcontroller: fewer op-codes and more bit handling instructions also microcontroller defined as a device that includes microprocessor, memory and input-output signal lines in a single chip.

What is an Instruction?

An instruction is an order given to a computer processor by a computer program. At the lowest level each instruction set is a sequence of 0s and 1s that describes a physical operation that computer is to perform (such as “Add”) and depending on the particular instruction type, the specification of special storage areas called registers that may contain data be used in carrying out the instruction or the location in computer memory of data.

What is clock cycle?

The speed of computer processor is determined by clock cycle, which is amount of time between two pulses of an oscillator. In general, the higher number of pulses per second the faster the computer processor will be able to process information.

About Umesh Lokhande

Umesh Lokhande holds a Master degree in Scientific Instrumentation from University of Applied Sciences Jena, Germany. and has previously worked at Orbotech, Alere Technologies etc. Umesh is also a founder and first author of BINARYUPDATES.COM

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