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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary
context switch
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operating system When a multitasking operating system
stops running one process and starts running another. Many
operating systems implement concurrency by maintaining
separate environments or "contexts" for each process. The
amount of separation between processes, and the amount of
information in a context, depends on the operating system but
generally the OS should prevent processes interfering with each
other, e.g. by modifying each other's memory.
A context switch can be as simple as changing the value of the
program counter and stack pointer or it might involve
resetting the MMU to make a different set of memory pages