October 16, 2018

Sreekanth B

Embedded C Latest Most Frequently Asked Interview Questions Answers

What Is The Use Of Volatile Keyword?

The C's volatile keyword is a qualifier that tells the compiler not to optimize when applied to a variable. By declaring a variable volatile, we can tell the compiler that the value of the variable may change any moment from outside of the scope of the program. A variable should be declared volatile whenever its value could change unexpectedly and beyond the comprehension of the compiler.

In those cases it is required not to optimize the code, doing so may lead to erroneous result and load the variable every time it is used in the program. Volatile keyword is useful for memory-mapped peripheral registers, global variables modified by an interrupt service routine, global variables accessed by multiple tasks within a multi-threaded application.
Embedded C Latest Most Frequently Asked Interview Questions Answers
Embedded C Latest Most Frequently Asked Interview Questions Answers


What Is Top Half & Bottom Half Of A Kernel?

Sometimes to handle an interrupt, a substantial amount of work has to be done. But it conflicts with the speed need for an interrupt handler. To handle this situation, Linux splits the handler into two parts – Top half and Bottom half. The top half is the routine that actually responds to the interrupt. The bottom half on the other hand is a routine that is scheduled by the upper half to be executed later at a safer time.

All interrupts are enabled during execution of the bottom half. The top half saves the device data into the specific buffer, schedules bottom half and exits. The bottom half does the rest. This way the top half can service a new interrupt while the bottom half is working on the previous.

Difference Between Risc And Cisc Processor?

RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) could carry out a few sets of simple instructions simultaneously. Fewer transistors are used to manufacture RISC, which makes RISC cheaper. RISC has uniform instruction set and those instructions are also fewer in number. Due to the less number of instructions as well as instructions being simple, the RISC computers are faster. RISC emphasise on software rather than hardware. RISC can execute instructions in one machine cycle.

CISC (Complex Instruction Set Computer) is capable of executing multiple operations through a single instruction. CISC have rich and complex instruction set and more number of addressing modes. CISC emphasise on hardware rather that software, making it costlier than RISC. It has a small code size, high cycles per second and it is slower compared to RISC.

What Is Rtos?

In an operating system, there is a module called the scheduler, which schedules different tasks and determines when a process will execute on the processor. This way, the multi-tasking is achieved. The scheduler in a Real Time Operating System (RTOS) is designed to provide a predictable execution pattern. In an embedded system, a certain event must be entertained in strictly defined time.

To meet real time requirements, the behaviour of the scheduler must be predictable. This type of OS which have a scheduler with predictable execution pattern is called Real Time OS(RTOS).

The features of an RTOS are:

Context switching latency should be short.
Interrupt latency should be short.
Interrupt dispatch latency should be short.
Reliable and time bound inter process mechanisms.
Should support kernel preemption.

What Is Void Pointer And What Is Its Use?

The void pointer means that it points to a variable that can be of any type. Other pointers points to a specific type of variable while void pointer is a somewhat generic pointer and can be pointed to any data type, be it standard data type(int, char etc) or user define data type (structure, union etc.). We can pass any kind of pointer and reference it as a void pointer. But to dereference it, we have to type the void pointer to correct data type.

What Is Isr?

An ISR(Interrupt Service Routine) is an interrupt handler, a callback subroutine which is called when a interrupt is encountered.

What Is Return Type Of Isr?

ISR does not return anything. An ISR returns nothing because there is no caller in the code to read the returned values.

What Is Interrupt Latency?

Interrupt latency is the time required for an ISR responds to an interrupt.

How To Reduce Interrupt Latency?

Interrupt latency can be minimized by writing short ISR routine and by not delaying interrupts for more time.

Can We Use Any Function Inside Isr?

We can use function inside ISR as long as that function is not invoked from other portion of the code.

Can We Use Printf Inside Isr?

Printf function in ISR is not supported because printf function is not reentrant, thread safe and uses dynamic memory allocation which takes a lot of time and can affect the speed of an ISR up to a great extent.

Can We Put Breakpoint Inside Isr?

Putting a breakpoint inside ISR is not a good idea because debugging will take some time and a difference of half or more second will lead to different behavior of hardware. To debug ISR, definitive logs are better.

Can Static Variables Be Declared In A Header File?

A static variable cannot be declared without defining it. A static variable can be defined in the header file. But doing so, the result will be having a private copy of that variable in each source file which includes the header file. So it will be wise not to declare a static variable in header file, unless you are dealing with a different scenario.

Is Count Down To Zero Loop Better Than Count_up_loops?

Countdown to zero loops are better. Reason behind this is that at loop termination, comparison to zero can be optimized by the compiler. Most processors have instruction for comparing to zero. So they don't need to load the loop variable and the maximum value, subtract them and then compare to zero. That is why count down to zero loop is better.

What Are Inline Functions?

The ARM compilers support inline functions with the keyword __inline. These functions have a small definition and the function body is substituted in each call to the inline function. The argument passing and stack maintenance is skipped and it results in faster code execution, but it increases code size, particularly if the inline function is large or one inline function is used often.

Can Include Files Be Nested?

Yes. Include files can be nested any number of times. But you have to make sure that you are not including the same file twice. There is no limit to how many header files that can be included. But the number can be compiler dependent, since including multiple header files may cause your computer to run out of stack memory.

Can A Variable Be Both Const And Volatile?

The const keyword make sure that the value of the variable declared as const can't be changed. This statement holds true in the scope of the program. The value can still be changed by outside intervention. So, the use of const with volatile keyword makes perfect sense.

Can A Pointer Be Volatile?

If we see the declaration volatile int *p, it means that the pointer itself is not volatile and points to an integer that is volatile. This is to inform the compiler that pointer p is pointing to an integer and the value of that integer may change unexpectedly even if there is no code indicating so in the program.

What Is Size Of Character, Integer, Integer Pointer, Character Pointer?

The sizeof character is 1 byte.

Size of integer is 4 bytes.

Size of integer pointer and character is 8 bytes on 64 bit machine and 4 bytes on 32 bit machine.

What Is Null Pointer And What Is Its Use?

The NULL is a macro defined in C. Null pointer actually means a pointer that does not point to any valid location. We define a pointer to be null when we want to make sure that the pointer does not point to any valid location and not to use that pointer to change anything. If we don't use null pointer, then we can't verify whether this pointer points to any valid location or not.

What Are The Uses Of The Keyword Static?

Static keyword can be used with variables as well as functions. A variable declared static will be of static storage class and within a function, it maintains its value between calls to that function. A variable declared as static within a file, scope of that variable will be within that file, but it can't be accessed by other files.

Functions declared static within a module can be accessed by other functions within that module. That is, the scope of the function is localized to the module within which it is declared.

What Are The Uses Of The Keyword Volatile?

Volatile keyword is used to prevent compiler to optimize a variable which can change unexpectedly beyond compiler's comprehension. Suppose, we have a variable which may be changed from scope out of the program, say by a signal, we do not want the compiler to optimize it. Rather than optimizing that variable, we want the compiler to load the variable every time it is encountered. If we declare a variable volatile, compiler will not cache it in its register.

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