The main function in an Interrupt of a Computer

In summary: When an interrupt happens, it interrupts the program flow that was going on before the interrupt. In a polling situation, the program flow is still running, but the polling interrupt handler is waiting to see if there is another event that needs to be handled. So in a sense, interrupts are like a stampede. They can come in a flood, and you might not be able to get your program to recover.
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Cruger
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Hi there,
Can somebody explain me the main function in Interrupt in the operating System?
 
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An interrupt (like from a driver) generates an OS signal. The currently executing thread is interrupted, and the program state (registers, usermode stacks, and program pointer) are saved - usually to the interrupt stack.

The function doing this is called an interrupt handler. These guys live in microcontroller firmware, device drivers, and parts of the OS kernel.
 
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There are two classic ways for microprocessors/processors/CPU's to receive input. One is to allow hardware signals to "interrupt" the operating system, which causes execution to jump over to an "interrupt subroutine" for a bit, then return to the operating system. The interrupt subroutine will probably be placing input characters in a buffer, or some similar thing.

The alternatively to interrupt-driven inputs is polling. With a microprocessor, it may be possible to "turn off" most interrupts, and instead, the operating system can be programmed differently, so that it runs a loop which periodically polls each input pin to see it's state. In a polling situation, the logic that was in the interrupt service routine is now right inside the OS and executes right after the polling of that pin.

Polling is rarely used. We had to use it in telecom, sometimes, when handling really fast bit streams in fiber optics communications. That's because we had to make sure that nothing could "interrupt" the timely handling of bit pushing. The risk of an interrupt-driven system is that interrupts are prioritized, so if a high-priority interrupt happens too frequently, the lower-priority interrupts will never execute. Polling allows a way to guarantee that all input pins will be treated with approximately the same priority, simply by making sure that whatever is done at each pin does not take to long before you go on to the next pin.

So...think of a classroom where anyone is allowed to speak. Some people will interrupt a lot, and quieter folks will get little chance to say anything. Then think of a round-robin situation, where everyone is given a chance to speak (for say, a maximum time of one minute). It is easy to understand in that kind of scenario, but in my experience, students have had trouble grasping the difference in microprocessors.
 
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Sure, I'd be happy to explain the main function of an interrupt in an operating system. An interrupt is a signal sent to the CPU by a hardware device or software program to request its attention. It temporarily suspends the current task being processed by the CPU and redirects its attention to the interrupt handler, which is a small program that handles the interrupt request. The main function of an interrupt is to allow multiple devices and programs to share the limited resources of the CPU, ensuring that critical tasks are given priority and completed efficiently. Interrupts also help in multitasking, as they allow the CPU to switch between different tasks quickly. By using interrupts, the operating system can efficiently manage the input/output operations of various devices, handle errors and exceptions, and coordinate the execution of multiple programs simultaneously. In summary, the main function of an interrupt is to facilitate efficient and effective communication between the hardware and software components of a computer system.
 

1. What is the main function of an Interrupt in a Computer?

The main function of an Interrupt in a computer is to temporarily suspend the currently executing program and transfer control to a specific routine or service. This allows the computer to handle urgent or time-sensitive tasks, such as receiving input from a user or responding to an error.

2. How does an Interrupt work in a Computer?

An Interrupt works by sending a signal to the CPU, which then interrupts the current program and saves its state. The CPU then jumps to the Interrupt Service Routine (ISR) to handle the task, and once it is completed, the CPU returns to the original program and restores its state.

3. What are the types of Interrupts in a Computer?

There are three types of Interrupts in a computer: hardware, software, and internal. Hardware Interrupts are triggered by external devices, such as a keyboard or mouse. Software Interrupts are initiated by programs to request services from the operating system. Internal Interrupts are generated by the CPU itself to handle errors or exceptions.

4. How does an Interrupt differ from a Subroutine?

An Interrupt differs from a Subroutine in that it is an external event that interrupts the current program, while a Subroutine is a part of the program that is called by the main program. Interrupts are also handled by the CPU and have a higher priority than Subroutines, which are executed in a sequential manner.

5. What is the role of Interrupts in multitasking?

Interrupts play a crucial role in multitasking by allowing the CPU to switch between different programs or tasks quickly. When an Interrupt is triggered, the current program is suspended, and the CPU can switch to another program to handle the urgent task. This allows for efficient use of the CPU and improves the overall performance of the computer.

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