Hynix Semiconductor Interview Questions

  1. How do you optimize power at various stages in the physical design flow?
Power optimization is an important aspect of physical design, and there are several techniques that can be used to optimize power at various stages of the physical design flow. Here are some common techniques:

Transistor sizing: Adjusting the size of each gate or transistor for minimum power.
Voltage scaling: Lower supply voltages use less power but go slower.
Voltage islands: Different blocks can be run at different voltages, saving power.
Power gating: Inserting design structures that turn off the supply voltage to a circuit during idle periods where the circuit is not in use.
Clock gating: Turning off (gating) the clock during periods where functions are idle to eliminate switching activity and the associated dynamic power consumption. 

 The practical application of power optimization techniques involves the analysis and tradeoff of power, performance, and area (PPA). Power optimizations often adversely impact performance and area; therefore, it’s essential to analyze and optimize these tradeoffs.

  • What timing optimization strategies you employ in pre-layout /post-layout stages?
  • What are process technology challenges in physical design?
  • Design divide by 2, divide by 3, and divide by 1.5 counters. Draw timing diagrams.
  • What are multi-cycle paths, false paths? How to resolve multi-cycle and false paths?
  • Given a flop to flop path with combo delay in between and output of the second flop fed back to combo logic. Which path is fastest path to have hold violation and how will you resolve?
  • What are RTL (Register Transfer Level) coding styles to adapt to yield optimal backend design?
  • Draw timing diagrams to represent the propagation delay, set up, hold, recovery, removal, minimum pulse width.

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