What Is Interrupt (Computer)?


Interrupt is a term used in computing to describe operating system signals. Interrupts are created by different hardware of software in order to inform the CPU for specific events, issues.

When Interrupt Occurs?

An interrupt can occur for different causes. Interrupts mainly provide real-time signaling of the CPU and the operating system about different types of events. Below are some of them.

  • Requested data arrived from the disk
  • New packets arrived from the network
  • The key of keyboard pressed
  • Mouse is clicked

Interrupt Types

Interrupts can have different types according to the source type of the interrupt. There are two main interrupt types named Hardware Interrupt and Software Interrupt .

Hardware Interruptsare created by the hardware devices or peripherals of the system. General computer hardware like a hard disk drive, network interface card, keyboard, a mouse can regularly create interrupts.

Software Interrupts are created by the software running on the Operating System. A driver, word application or web browser can create interrupt.

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