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interrupt sources and processor handling

In digital computers, an interrupt is a response by the processor to an event that needs attention from the software. An interrupt condition alerts the processor, and serves as a request for the processor to interrupt currently executing code (when permitted), so that the event can be processed in a timely manner. If the request is accepted, the processor will suspend its current activities, save its state, and execute a function called an interrupt handler (or an interrupt service routine, ISR) to deal with the event. This interruption is temporary, and, unless the interrupt indicates a fatal error, the processor resumes its normal activities after the interrupt handler finishes.[1]

Interrupts are commonly used by hardware devices to indicate electronic or physical state changes that require time-sensitive attention. Interrupts are also commonly used to implement computer multitasking, especially in real-time computing. Systems that use interrupts in these ways are said to be interrupt-driven.[2]

  1. ^ Jonathan Corbet; Alessandro Rubini; Greg Kroah-Hartman (2005). "Linux Device Drivers, Third Edition, Chapter 10. Interrupt Handling" (PDF). O'Reilly Media. p. 269. Retrieved December 25, 2014. Then it's just a matter of cleaning up, running software interrupts, and getting back to regular work. The "regular work" may well have changed as a result of an interrupt (the handler could wake_up a process, for example), so the last thing that happens on return from an interrupt is a possible rescheduling of the processor.
  2. ^ Rosenthal, Scott (May 1995). "Basics of Interrupts". Archived from the original on 2016-04-26. Retrieved 2010-11-11.

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