Xilinx Verification Engineer Interview Guide

Interview Guide Dec 02

Detailed, specific guidance on the Xilinx Verification Engineer interview process - with a breakdown of different stages and interview questions asked at each stage

The role of a Xilinx Verification Engineer

AMD, which acquired Xilinx in 2020, has a mission to craft top-notch products that drive the future of computing across data centers, AI, PCs, and embedded technologies. They relentlessly innovate to address the world's most crucial challenges, striving for execution excellence with a direct, humble, collaborative, and inclusive approach.

Within Xilinx, the core Verification team plays a pivotal role in developing high-performance and ultralow power microprocessor cores. This role offers a unique opportunity to delve into the micro-architectural intricacies of next-gen cores, shaping the future of client devices and custom designs. 

Verification Engineers at Xilinx are expected to have a proven track record in handling complex designs. Your responsibilities include designing test benches for products, architecting test-bench components—typically working with software and machinery—to ensure products are working as designed.

The total pay range for a Xilinx Verification Engineer is between $177,000 and $248,000 annually. This includes a base pay ranging from $136,000 to $173,000 per year, with an additional pay component falling within the $40,000 to $75,000 per year range.

Xilinx Verification Engineer Interview Guide

The Xilinx Verification Engineer interview process is quite comprehensive, consisting of three rounds:

  • Phone Screening
  • Technical Phone Interview
  • Onsite
Relevant Guides

Xilinx Verification Engineer - Phone Screening

Overview

This initial 30-minute interview is more of a casual get-to-know-you session led by a recruiter. They touch on your qualifications and skills, starting with some fundamental technical questions related to verification engineering. 

You can also expect inquiries about your background, work history, and motivations for joining the company.

Xilinx Verification Engineer - Technical Phone Interview

Overview

This one is an hour-long phone screen that dives deeper into your technical knowledge, covering basic architecture, systems, OS level, and programming. 

The emphasis is on exploring topics like verification methodologies, SystemVerilog experience, and understanding of testing and verification concepts.

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Xilinx Verification Engineer - Onsite Interview

Overview

The onsite interviews are intense—featuring 5 or 6 one-hour sessions with engineers and managers of varying levels. Questions span computer architecture, C/C++ programming, design, and basic operating system concepts. 

Here are 5 areas your interviewers will touch upon::

  • You can expect queries related to testbench development, coverage analysis, debugging techniques, and a focus on your knowledge of OOP concepts, UVM, its components, and practical applications in your past roles. Demonstrating your understanding of SystemVerilog constraints and assertions is crucial. You may even be given scenarios to write constraints or assertions.
  • A significant portion of the interview delves into your knowledge of C programming and data structures. Coding questions or practical problems related to data structures, such as "how to swap 3 numbers?" or "how to find 3 greatest numbers in an array?" might be part of the round.
  • Other areas of focus include:
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Interview Questions

  • How do you design a priority encoder?
  • What is the difference between the new and create methods in UVM?
  • In what cases do you need to verify a given design?
  • Have you ever examined how a real processor is designed?
  • How does a 2-clock FIFO work, and what components are used?
  • How do you efficiently design a 1-hot MUX?
  • What are setup time and hold time?
  • Design hardware that will detect a 1101-bit sequence.
  • What is your understanding of Microprocessor architecture?
  • Provide some examples of test vectors you may want to use to verify a CPU cache.
  • How would you locate poles and zeros in a two-stage opamp?
  • How do you increase or decrease set-up and hold time?
  • What is slack?
  • Describe different Built-in Self-Test methods.
  • Design a 4-to-1 multiplexer using basic logic gates.
  • Solve a logic puzzle involving sequential circuits and state transitions.
  • Explain the impact of RC circuit characteristics on signal propagation in a chip.
  • How do you optimize a design for better timing performance?

Xilinx Verification Engineer Roles and Responsibilities

Following are the roles and responsibilities of a Xilinx Verification Engineer:

  • The role involves developing solid test plans, making sure they're executed smoothly, and with a focus on functional coverage.
  • Improving the existing test bench is crucial, so you'll spend time understanding and refining it. Collaboration is key, too – this means working with design and engineering teams to ensure plans are executed effectively.
  • Showcasing your commitment through good communication, proper documentation, and being able to drive tasks independently will set you up for success.

Xilinx Verification Engineer Skills and Qualifications

Here are the skills and qualifications that a Xilinx Verification Engineer must have:

  • A solid grasp of the design and verification life cycle as well as hands-on experience in C/C++/SystemVerilog testbench development is crucial.
  • Proficiency in coverage planning, coding, and closure is required.
  • The ability to mentor junior team members to meet team goals is expected, leadership skills are paramount, as the role involves leading the verification team comprehensively.
  • Collaboration with SOC teams and design teams across different locations is integral for alignment of features, scoping, and problem-solving.
  • A high level of motivation to seek out solutions and a willingness to learn new skills to meet job requirements is required.
  • Proven interpersonal skills, leadership abilities, teamwork, excellent English writing skills and good organizational abilities round out the desired qualifications.

Frequently Asked Questions