What is interrupt?

  • (verb): Terminate.
    Synonyms: break
    See also — Additional definitions below


In systems programming, an interrupt is a signal to the processor or an instruction in software usually indicating an event that needs immediate attention. An interrupt signals the processor of a high-priority condition requiring the interruption of the current code the processor is executing, the current thread. The processor responds by suspending its current activities, saving its state, and executing a small program called an interrupt handler (interrupt service routine, ISR) to deal with the event. This interruption is temporary, and after the interrupt handler finishes, the processor resumes execution of the previous thread. There are two types of interrupt:

Read more about Interrupt.

Some articles on interrupt:

Message Signaled Interrupts
... Message Signaled Interrupts, in PCI 2.2 and later in PCI Express, are an alternative way of generating an interrupt ... Traditionally, a device has an interrupt pin which it asserts when it wants to interrupt the host CPU ... While PCI Express does not have separate interrupt pins, it has special messages to allow it to emulate a pin assertion or deassertion ...
Trap Flag - Single-step Interrupt
... The Intel 8086 trap flag and type-1 interrupt response make it quite easy to implement a single-step feature in a 8086-based system ... flag is set, the 8086 will automatically do a type-1 interrupt after each instruction executes ... When the 8086 does a type-1 interrupt, it pushes the flag register on the stack ...
SYS/BIOS - OS Overview - Threading
... Hardware Interrupt (Hwi) support threads initiated by a hardware interrupt ... Software Interrupt (Swi) structured to be similar to Hwis, but allow processing to be deferred until after a hardware interrupt has completed ...
Interrupt - Typical Uses
... Typical uses of interrupts include the following system timers, disks I/O, power-off signals, and traps ... Other interrupts exist to transfer data bytes using UARTs or Ethernet sense key-presses control motors or anything else the equipment must do ... A classic system timer generates interrupts periodically from a counter or the power-line ...
Techniques For Program Animation
... Induced interrupt This technique involves forcing a breakpoint at certain points in a program at execution time, usually by altering the machine code instruction at that point (this ... When the interrupt occurs, it is handled by the testing tool to report the status back to the programmer ... This method allows program execution at full speed (until the interrupt occurs) but suffers from the disadvantage that most of the instructions leading up to the ...

More definitions of "interrupt":

  • (verb): Make a break in.
    Example: "We interrupt the program for the following messages"
    Synonyms: disrupt, break up, cut off
  • (verb): Destroy the peace or tranquility of.
    Example: "Don't interrupt me when I'm reading"
    Synonyms: disturb
  • (verb): Interfere in someone else's activity.
    Example: "Please don't interrupt me while I'm on the phone"
    Synonyms: disrupt

Famous quotes containing the word interrupt:

    Never interrupt a murderer, madame.
    Walter Reisch (1903–1963)

    Television ... helps blur the distinction between framed and unframed reality. Whereas going to the movies necessarily entails leaving one’s ordinary surroundings, soap operas are in fact spatially inseparable from the rest of one’s life. In homes where television is on most of the time, they are also temporally integrated into one’s “real” life and, unlike the experience of going out in the evening to see a show, may not even interrupt its regular flow.
    Eviatar Zerubavel, U.S. sociologist, educator. The Fine Line: Making Distinctions in Everyday Life, ch. 5, University of Chicago Press (1991)