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Interrupts may be caused by both hardware
In general the computer responds to an interrupt by storing
the information about the current state of the running
program; storing information to identify the source of the
This is usually a kernel
level privileged process that can
discover the precise cause of the interrupt (e.g. if several
devices share one interrupt) and what must be done to keep
operating system tables (such as the process table) updated.
This first-level handler may then call another handler,
e.g. one associated with the particular device which generated
because the OS
routines are both called using the
so often have to bypass the operating system (going directly
to a BIOS interrupt) to get reasonable performance.