Need help for preparing the software engineer interview? Check out our comprehensive list of embedded software engineer interview questions and answers to help you ace the interview. From coding and debugging to programming languages and frameworks, these embedded interview questions will help you get the embedded software engineer job.
An embedded system is a computer-based solution that combines hardware and software to carry out a certain task. Consistent spending on computers and AI promises to be a boon for the embedded business.
We have covered the most important topics related to embedded software engineer interview questions, from basic concepts through more advanced topics.
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An embedded system is a computer system embedded in a more extensive system or machine. It is a system that performs a specific function within a more extensive electrical or mechanical system.
The Essential components of an embedded system are-
The I/O devices of an embedded system are divided into two types: They are
The term "real-time embedded system" refers to any computer system that can detect, react to, or exert influence over its physical environment in near real time. Actuators, sensors, and other input/output interfaces allow the computer system to communicate with its external surroundings.
The microcontroller is a self-contained device that is used in embedded systems. It consists of peripherals, memory, and a CPU.
An embedded system can successfully take the place of dozens or even hundreds of input buffers, timing circuits, hardware logic gates, output drivers, and many more.
DMA address deals with physical addresses. It is a device that drives the data and addresses buses directly during data transfer.
Interrupt latency is the time it takes to return from the interrupt service function after handling a given interrupt.
These are some of the buses that are commonly used for communication in embedded systems:
When anything goes wrong with an electronic system, a Watchdog Timer triggers certain activities to be carried out after a specific time. It happens if the device or card in question is an electronic one.
Infinite loops are necessary for embedded systems for repetitive processing or monitoring of the program's status. A case in point is a program state continually monitored for runtime faults such as memory exhaustion, division by zero, etc.
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In concurrent systems, such as multiprogramming operating systems, a semaphore is an abstract datatype or variable used to regulate access to a shared resource. Two typical applications for semaphores are
A recursive function might be useful when you expect the number of recursive calls to be small. When invoked a function with the inline functions attribute, its whole definition will be copied. Compiler performance suffers when inline, recursive functions are used.
Semaphores or mutexes cannot be used to interrupt context. Spinlocks, however, can be used to lock in an interrupt context.
Almost always, interrupt handlers need to finish their work quickly. The specifics depend on the device and the application, making it hard to do complex things in their code. Here are some common issues when handling interrupts are:
The first reason is selecting the best tool based on the work. The most popular explanations are price, electrical power consumption, and backward compatibility. Backward compatibility is essential for connecting with existing infrastructure, particularly in industrial applications where electrical and operational limitations frequently influence the selection of microcontrollers.
No. Unless the microcontroller was designed to include protections against firmware downloading and/or modification, you should assume that it is straightforward to download and edit any code and data transferred to it. The microcontroller may be the only exception here.
The time it takes for the ISR to respond to an interrupt is called interrupt latency.
A segmentation fault is the most common type of error and frequently results in program crashes. The lower the latency, the faster the response to an interrupt event.
When the execution of a function is suspended in the middle and resumed without risk, we say that the function is reentrant. Both external events and signals, as well as internal signals, such as a call or a leap, can serve as interruptions. Execution of the reentrant function picks up just where it left off and continues until it's done.
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During your interview for the role of embedded software engineer, you can anticipate questions pertaining to your background in firmware development, microcontrollers, and real-time operating systems. Questions on your problem-solving abilities and how you would approach various development scenarios are also likely to be included.
The following abilities are important for any embedded software engineer.
ISR expands to Interrupt Service Routines. These processes are placed in a specified memory address and executed when certain interruptions occur. The term "interrupt" describes the message delivered to the CPU to notify it of a high-priority event that needs quick processing.
A void pointer is a pointer that might point to any kind of variable. When referring, it makes no assumptions about the underlying data type, making it a generic pointer. When dereferencing a pointer, it's essential to use what data type should convert to the information. The versatility of void pointers is what makes them so popular. Because it can hold any kind of information, it may reuse it.
The volatile keyword is primarily used to stop compilers from optimizing variables that might unpredictably change their behavior after the optimization.
The "##" symbol denotes the Concatenation operator in programming. It is used in macros to carry out the operation of concatenating the arguments used in the macro. It is important to remember that the arguments' values are not concatenated; just the arguments themselves are.
Static variables are global only inside the block in which they are declared and are only initialized once (at program startup time). It is necessary to define any static variables declared in a declaration. To declare a static variable, you must first define it.
Count-down to zero loops is preferable over count-up loops. The compiler can better optimize the comparison to zero when the loop finishes running. The improvement frees CPU resources by eliminating the requirement to simultaneously load the loop variable and compare the maximum value. Therefore, it is usually preferable to use a countdown loop that ends in 0.
When we want to ensure that the variable value does not change, we use the const keyword.
However, external interrupts or events can still cause the value to change. We can use const with volatile keywords without incident.
A null pointer is an invalid reference to a memory address. It guarantees that the invalid pointer cannot be used to make any changes. The pointer is considered "NULL" if it does not have an associated address.
There are four different storage classes in the C programming language:
C++ is a compelling and flexible language that allows programmers to write complex code quickly. C++ compilers are typically very efficient, meaning that programs written in C++ can be speedy. C++ has a wide range of libraries that provide great functionality, making it possible to write comprehensive programs without writing much code from scratch.
RTOSs can provide faster response times to interrupts than a traditional operating system. RTOSs can efficiently use limited resources such as memory and processing power. It is vital for applications that run on low-power devices or have limited resources.
Embedded C is a programming language that is a C programming extension.
Given that it frequently appears in embedded systems and has a similar syntax to C, it is known as an "embedded" language. The I/O hardware operations and addressing, fixed point operations, memory/address space access, and several other features required to build fault-tolerant embedded systems are supported by embedded C.
A startup function is a code executed before the primary function's execution. It is written in assembly language and is used to create a primary platform for the application.
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Characteristics of an Embedded System are
As implied by its name, embedded refers to something that is attached to another object. Consider an embedded system to be a computer hardware system in which software is embedded. An embedded system may be a standalone system or a component of a larger system.
The most valuable embedded programming languages are
Arduino is a prototype platform for making electronic devices that can perceive and be controlled by external input. The goal of this thesis was to develop an embedded system based on a microcontroller that may be used to keep tabs on environmental factors in greenhouses. A website gives the user command over the greenhouse's climate.
Developers of embedded systems typically work in an embedded programming language. The languages usually provide direct, low-level access to the hardware of the device. Embedded systems development typically involves the use of one of several popular programming languages. Embedded programming languages are another name for them.
Python programming language has become the most widely used in the industry. Yet, because of its straightforward syntax and high level of readability, it is an ideal language for those just starting out in the field of computer programming. It's being put to use everywhere from machine learning to running websites, but embedded programming is where it really shines.
SQL can be incorporated into nearly all high-level programming languages due to its widespread developer support. Languages like C, C++, Java, etc, offer SQL integration. Some programming languages, such as Python, include built-in libraries for integrating database queries into the code.
Yocto, also known as Open embedded, is a widely-used alternative to desktop Linux distributions for embedded systems. Yocto has the backing of a large community of open-source software developers, prominent figures in the technology industry, and numerous chip and board makers.
Docker eliminates the need to flash individual boards, install essential dependencies, or construct scripts in order to copy files to boards, which significantly simplifies the software deployment process for the Internet of Things (IoT) and embedded systems.
When it comes to creating bare-metal software, firmware, and Real-Time Operating System (RTOS) applications, Arm's Arm Compiler for Embedded (previously known as Arm Compiler) is the most advanced embedded C/C++ compilation toolchain available.
To wrap up, this article provided a comprehensive list of embedded software engineer interview questions and answers to help you prepare for your next job interview. This reference set of questions will be helped to know what types of interview questions will be asked for the post of an embedded software developer. So use these questions and perform well. Good Luck!
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Madhuri is a Senior Content Creator at MindMajix. She has written about a range of different topics on various technologies, which include, Splunk, Tensorflow, Selenium, and CEH. She spends most of her time researching on technology, and startups. Connect with her via LinkedIn and Twitter .
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