COEN 180
Midterm 1 Sample Questions
  1. Give and explain the general criteria by which storage / memory is evaluated.
  2. Explain the difference between the two major measurements for speed, namely (1)access time for a random access and the burst data rate. Give examples where one or the other is the more important measurement.
  3. Explain the purpose of caching.
  4. Explain "write-back" and "copy-through" and lists advantages and disadvantages of both schemes.
  5. Give and explain the design of a 6T SRAM cell.
  6. Give the design of a single 1T1C DRAM cell and explain the operations of read, write, and refresh.
  7. Explain why it is necessary to have a reference bit line in modern DRAM layouts.
  8. Using DRAM memory as an example, explain pipelining.
  9. List and explain briefly the major methods to increase the data rate of a DRAM.
  10. Explain DRAM page mode.
  11. We are designing a SRAM cache that contains 1 MB of data. Our first design uses 2 word blocks and is two-way set associative. It uses copy-through and implements LRU cache replacement policy (within a cache line). Sketch the design of a single cache line, calculate the number of cache lines, and calculate the overhead.
    Our second design uses 4 word blocks and write-back. Sketch the design of a single cache line, calculate the number of cache lines, and calculate the overhead.
In addition, all homework questions are templates of midterm questions.
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