Interrupt handler

Updated: 11/12/2023 by Computer Hope
trap handler

An interrupt handler, also known as an ISR (Interrupt Service Routine) or trap handler, is a block of code executed in response to an interrupt signal. Primarily, interrupt handlers are used for transitions between protected modes of operation, like system calls or administering device drivers. ISRs can be produced by hardware devices, software, or even the CPU (Central Processing Unit) to stop the normal flow of program execution.

Interrupt handlers help ensure a computer system can respond to external events and manage various processes simultaneously without requiring constant polling or throwing away CPU cycles. They play a vital role in a computer system's overall efficiency and responsiveness.

How does an interrupt handler work?

When an interrupt occurs, the processor temporarily stops executing the current program and passes control to the interrupt handler. Then, the interrupt handler deals with the specific event or condition that triggered the interrupt in the first place. It performs necessary response actions, such as processing data from a hardware device, updating the system's status, or initiating other tasks to move the required operation.

Computer acronyms, Context switch, External, Hardware interrupt, Interrupt, Software interrupt, Software terms, Status, TLA