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X86 Assembly Language and C Fundamentals by Joseph Cavanagh

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Chapter 16

Interrupts and Input/Output Operations

An interrupt is an asynchronous occurrence that is generally initiated by an input/output device; for example, the device is ready to transfer data or to receive data. When an interrupt occurs, the processor stops execution of the current operation and transfers control to a procedure that is specifically designed to handle the interrupt. Application programs can access these procedures — whose addresses are located in an interrupt descriptor table (IDT) of the operating system — by means of instructions that are similar to the procedure CALL instruction. The IDT provides access to predefined and used-defined interrupts and each entry in the IDT is identified by an interrupt vector number.

An ...

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