Sample interview questions for ECE branch: (Communication Systems)
1. Expand ECE.
Electronics & Communication Engineering.
2. What is Electronic?
The study and use of electrical devices that operate by controlling the flow of electrons or other electrically charged particles.
3. What is communication?
Communication means transferring a signal from the transmitter which passes through a medium then the output is obtained at the receiver. (or)communication says as transferring of message from one place to another place called communication.
4. Different types of communications? Explain.
Analog and digital communication.
As a technology, analog is the process of taking an audio or video signal (the human voice) and translating it into electronic pulses. Digital on the other hand is breaking the signal into a binary format where the audio or video data is represented by a series of "1"s and "0"s.
Digital signals are immune to noise, quality of transmission and reception is good, components used in digital communication can be produced with high precision and power consumption is also very less when compared with analog signals.
5. What is engineering?
The application of science to the needs of humanity and a profession in which a knowledge of the mathematical and natural sciences gained by study, experience, and practice is applied with judgment to develop ways to use economically the materials and forces of nature for the benefit of mankind.
6. Difference between electronic and electrical.
Electronics work on DC and with a voltage range of -48vDC to +48vDC. If the electronic device is plugged into a standard wall outlet, there will be a transformer inside which will convert the AC voltage you are supplying to the required DC voltage needed by the device. Examples: Computer, radio, T.V, etc...
Electric devices use line voltage (120vAC, 240vAC, etc...). Electric devices can also be designed to operate on DC sources, but will be at DC voltages above 48v. Examples: are incandescent lights, heaters, fridge, stove, etc...
7. What is sampling?
The process of obtaining a set of samples from a continuous function of time x(t) is referred to as sampling.
8. State sampling theorem.
It states that, while taking the samples of a continuous signal, it has to be taken care that the sampling rate is equal to or greater than twice the cut off frequency and the minimum sampling rate is known as the Nyquist rate.
9. What is cut-off frequency?
The frequency at which the response is -3dB with respect to the maximum response.
10. What is pass band?
Passband is the range of frequencies or wavelengths that can pass through a filter without being attenuated.
11. What is stop band?
A stopband is a band of frequencies, between specified limits, in which a circuit, such as a filter or telephone circuit, does not let signals through, or the attenuation is above the required stopband attenuation level.
12. Difference between mobile and a cell phone.
There is no difference, just language use, which differs from country to country, so in Britain it is called a mobile, and in USA and South Africa and other places a cell phone.
Even in Europe the name differs. The Germans call it a "handy", which in English has completely another meaning as an adjective, meaning useful.
In Italy it is called a telofonino or "little phone".
This difference in British and American English is also evident in many other things we use every day, like lifts and elevators, nappies and diapers, pickups and trucks. The list goes on and on, any student of English has to decide which he or she will use, as the default setting.
13. Explain RF?
Radio frequency (RF) is a frequency or rate of oscillation within the range of about 3 Hz to 300 GHz. This range corresponds to frequency of alternating current electrical signals used to produce and detect radio waves. Since most of this range is beyond the vibration rate that most mechanical systems can respond to, RF usually refers to oscillations in electrical circuits or electromagnetic radiation.
14. What is modulation? And where it is utilized?
Modulation is the process of varying some characteristic of a periodic wave with an external signals.
Radio communication superimposes this information bearing signal onto a carrier signal.
These high frequency carrier signals can be transmitted over the air easily and are capable of travelling long distances.
The characteristics (amplitude, frequency, or phase) of the carrier signal are varied in accordance with the information bearing signal.
Modulation is utilized to send an information bearing signal over long distances.
15. What is demodulation?
Demodulation is the act of removing the modulation from an analog signal to get the original baseband signal back. Demodulating is necessary because the receiver system receives a modulated signal with specific characteristics and it needs to turn it to base-band.
16. Name the modulation techniques.
For Analog modulation--AM, SSB, FM, PM and SM
Digital modulation--OOK, FSK, ASK, Psk, QAM, MSK, CPM, PPM, TCM, OFDM
17. Explain AM and FM.
AM-Amplitude modulation is a type of modulation where the amplitude of the carrier signal is varied in accordance with the information bearing signal.
FM-Frequency modulation is a type of modulation where the frequency of the carrier signal is varied in accordance with the information bearing signal.
18. Where do we use AM and FM?
AM is used for video signals for example TV. Ranges from 535 to 1705 kHz.
FM is used for audio signals for example Radio. Ranges from 88 to 108 MHz.
19. How does a mobile work?
When you talk into a mobile telephone it converts the sound of your voice to radiofrequency energy (radio waves). The radio waves are transmitted through the air to a nearby base station. The base station then sends the call through the telephone network until it reaches the person you are calling. When you receive a call on your mobile phone the message travels through the telephone network until it reaches a base station near to you. The base station sends out radio waves, which are detected by your telephone and converted back to speech. Depending on the equipment and the operator, the frequency that each operator utilises is 900MHz, 1800MHz or 2100MHz.
The mobile phone network operates on the basis of a series of cells. Each cell requires a radio base station to enable it to function.
There are three types of base station and each has a particular purpose:
- The Macrocell is the largest type and provides the main coverage for mobile phone networks.
- The Microcell is used to improve capacity in areas where demand to make calls is high, such as shopping centres.
- The Picocell only has a range of a few hundred metres and may be used to boost weak signals within large buildings.
Each base station can only cope with a certain number of calls at any one time. So if demand exceeds the capacity of a base station an additional base station is needed.
20. What is a base station?
Base station is a radio receiver/transmitter that serves as the hub of the local wireless network, and may also be the gateway between a wired network and the wireless network.
21. How many satellites are required to cover the earth?
3 satellites are required to cover the entire earth, which is placed at 120 degree to each other. The life span of the satellite is about 15 years.
22. What is a repeater?
A repeater is an electronic device that receives a signal and retransmits it at a higher level and/or higher power, or onto the other side of an obstruction, so that the signal can cover longer distances without degradation.
23. What is attenuation?
Attenuation is the reduction in amplitude and intensity of a signal. Signals may attenuate exponentially by transmission through a medium, or by increments calculated in electronic circuitry or set by variable controls. Attenuation is an important property in telecommunications and ultrasound applications because of its importance in determining signal strength as a function of distance. Attenuation is usually measured in units of decibels per unit length of medium (dB/cm, dB/km, etc) and is represented by the attenuation coefficient of the medium in question.
24. What is multiplexing?
Multiplexing (known as muxing) is a term used to refer to a process where multiple analog message signals or digital data streams are combined into one signal over a shared medium. The aim is to share an expensive resource. For example, in telecommunications, several phone calls may be transferred using one wire.
25. What is CDMA, TDMA, FDMA?
Code division multiple access (CDMA) is a channel access method utilized by various radio communication technologies. CDMA employs spread-spectrum technology and a special coding scheme (where each transmitter is assigned a code) to allow multiple users to be multiplexed over the same physical channel. By contrast, time division multiple access (TDMA) divides access by time, while frequency-division multiple access (FDMA) divides it by frequency.
An analogy to the problem of multiple access is a room (channel) in which people wish to communicate with each other. To avoid confusion, people could take turns speaking (time division), speak at different pitches (frequency division), or speak in different directions (spatial division). In CDMA, they would speak different languages. People speaking the same language can understand each other, but not other people. Similarly, in radio CDMA, each group of users is given a shared code. Many codes occupy the same channel, but only users associated with a particular code can understand each other.
26. Difference between CDMA and GSM.
These are the two different means of mobile communication being presently used worldwide. The basic difference lies in the Multiplexing method used in the aerial communication i.e. from Mobile Tower to your mobile and vice versa.
CDMA uses Code Division Multiple Access as the name itself indicates, for example you are in a hall occupied with number of people speaking different language. You will find that the one language you know will be heard by you and the others will be treated like noise. In the same manner each CDMA mobile communication takes place with a "code" communicating between them and the other end if one is knowing that code then only it can listen to the data being transmitted i.e. the communication is in the coded form.
On the other hand GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) uses narrowband TDMA, which allows eight simultaneous calls on the same radio frequency. TDMA works by dividing a radio frequency into time slots and then allocating slots to multiple calls. In this way, a single frequency can support multiple, simultaneous data channels.
27. What is an Amplifier?
An electronic device or electrical circuit that is used to boost (amplify) the power, voltage or current of an applied signal.
28. What is Barkhausen criteria?
Barkhausen criteria, without which you will not know which conditions, are to be satisfied for oscillations.
“Oscillations will not be sustained if, at the oscillator frequency, the magnitude of the product of the transfer gain of the amplifier and the magnitude of the feedback factor of the feedback network ( the magnitude of the loop gain ) are less than unity”.
The condition of unity loop gain -Aβ = 1 is called the Barkhausen criterion. This condition implies that | Aβ|= 1and that the phase of - Aβ is zero.
29. Explain Full duplex and half duplex.
Full duplex refers to the transmission of data in two directions simultaneously. For example, a telephone is a full-duplex device because both parties can talk at once. In contrast, a walkie-talkie is a half-duplex device because only one party can transmit at a time.
In full-duplex mode, data you transmit does not appear on your screen until it has been received and sent back by the other party. This enables you to validate that the data has been accurately transmitted. If your display screen shows two of each character, it probably means that your modem is set to half-duplex mode when it should be in full-duplex mode.
30. What is a feedback? And explain different types of feedback.
Types of feedback:
Negative feedback: This tends to reduce output (but in amplifiers, stabilizes and linearizes operation). Negative feedback feeds part of a system's output, inverted, into the system's input; generally with the result that fluctuations are attenuated.
Positive feedback: This tends to increase output. Positive feedback, sometimes referred to as "cumulative causation", is a feedback loop system in which the system responds to perturbation (A perturbation means a system, is an alteration of function, induced by external or internal mechanisms) in the same direction as the perturbation. In contrast, a system that responds to the perturbation in the opposite direction is called a negative feedback system.
Bipolar feedback: which can either increase or decrease output.
31. Advantages of negative feedback over positive feedback.
Much attention has been given by researchers to negative feedback processes, because negative feedback processes lead systems towards equilibrium states. Positive feedback reinforces a given tendency of a system and can lead a system away from equilibrium states, possibly causing quite unexpected results.
32. Example for negative feedback and positive feedback.
Example for –ve feedback is ---Amplifiers
And for +ve feedback is – Oscillators
33. What is Oscillator?
An oscillator is a circuit that creates a waveform output from a direct current input. The two main types of oscillator are harmonic and relaxation. The harmonic oscillators have smooth curved waveforms, while relaxation oscillators have waveforms with sharp changes.
34. What is a transducer and transponder?
A transducer is a device, usually electrical, electronic, electro-mechanical, electromagnetic, photonic, or photovoltaic that converts one type of energy or physical attribute to another for various purposes including measurement or information transfer.
In telecommunication, the term transponder (short-for Transmitter-responder and sometimes abbreviated to XPDR, XPNDR, TPDR or TP) has the following meanings:
- An automatic device that receives, amplifies, and retransmits a signal on a different frequency (see also broadcast translator).
- An automatic device that transmits a predetermined message in response to a predefined received signal.
- A receiver-transmitter that will generate a reply signal upon proper electronic interrogation.
35. What is an Integrated Circuit?
An integrated circuit (IC), also called a microchip, is an electronic circuit etched onto a silicon chip. Their main advantages are low cost, low power, high performance, and very small size.
36. What is crosstalk?
Crosstalk is a form of interference caused by signals in nearby conductors. The most common example is hearing an unwanted conversation on the telephone. Crosstalk can also occur in radios, televisions, networking equipment, and even electric guitars.
37. What is a rectifier?
A rectifier changes alternating current into direct current. This process is called rectification. The three main types of rectifier are the half-wave, full-wave, and bridge. A rectifier is the opposite of an inverter, which changes direct current into alternating current.
HWR- The simplest type is the half-wave rectifier, which can be made with just one diode. When the voltage of the alternating current is positive, the diode becomes forward-biased and current flows through it. When the voltage is negative, the diode is reverse-biased and the current stops. The result is a clipped copy of the alternating current waveform with only positive voltage, and an average voltage that is one third of the peak input voltage. This pulsating direct current is adequate for some components, but others require a more steady current. This requires a full-wave rectifier that can convert both parts of the cycle to positive voltage.
FWR- The full-wave rectifier is essentially two half-wave rectifiers, and can be made with two diodes and an earthed centre tap on the transformer. The positive voltage half of the cycle flows through one diode, and the negative half flows through the other. The centre tap allows the circuit to be completed because current cannot flow through the other diode. The result is still a pulsating direct current but with just over half the input peak voltage, and double the frequency.
38. What is resistor?
A resistor is a two-terminal electronic component that opposes an electric current by producing a voltage drop between its terminals in proportion to the current, that is, in accordance with Ohm's law: V = IR.
39. What is capacitor?
A capacitor is an electrical/electronic device that can store energy in the electric field between a pair of conductors (called "plates"). The process of storing energy in the capacitor is known as "charging", and involves electric charges of equal magnitude, but opposite polarity, building up on each plate.
Capacitors are often used in electric and electronic circuits as energy-storage devices. They can also be used to differentiate between high-frequency and low-frequency signals. This property makes them useful in electronic filters.
Capacitors are occasionally referred to as condensers. This term is considered archaic in English, but most other languages use a cognate of condenser to refer to a capacitor.
40. What is inductor?
41. What is conductor?
A substance, body, or device that readily conducts heat, electricity, sound, etc. Copper is a good conductor of electricity.
42. What is a semi conductor?
A semiconductor is a solid material that has electrical conductivity in between that of a conductor and that of an insulator(An Insulator is a material that resists the flow of electric current. It is an object intended to support or separate electrical conductors without passing current through itself); it can vary over that wide range either permanently or dynamically.
43. What is diode?
44. What is transistor?
In electronics, a transistor is a semiconductor device commonly used to amplify or switch electronic signals. The transistor is the fundamental building block of computers, and all other modern electronic devices. Some transistors are packaged individually but most are found in integrated circuits.
45. What is op-amp?
An operational amplifier, often called an op-amp , is a DC-coupled high-gain electronic voltage amplifier with differential inputs and, usually, a single output. Typically the output of the op-amp is controlled either by negative feedback, which largely determines the magnitude of its output voltage gain, or by positive feedback, which facilitates regenerative gain and oscillation.