6 IRQ Controller | Office Equipment | Manufactured Goods

Computer Hardware

Unit 20 2nd Year National Diploma

Computer Hardware
IRQ Controller

Table of Contents    Simplified diagram of a modern DMA computer Introduction IRQs Interrupt Controllers  Interrupt Priorities  Non-Maskable Interrupts (NMI) Non Interrupt Conflicts  Summary of IRQs  .

Simplified diagram of a modern DMA computer CPU I/O Controller L2 Cache Memory Controller I/O Devices RAM IRQ Controller Control Bus Storage Devices DMA Controller System Bus I/O Bus .

Introduction     When you install an expansion board in a slot. it gets connected to the I/O bus. The board can therefore send and receive data to and from the I/O device. But who regulates the traffic? Who gives clearance to the new controller to send data? .

IRQs (1 of 6)    To control data traffic on the I/O bus. the concept of IRQ (Interrupt ReQuest) was (I created. 2 types of Interrupts:  Software Interrupts  Used to call any number of BIOS routines IRQs  Hardware Interrupts  . A fundamental principle in the PC design.

.  Example: Editing a document whilst listening to music.IRQs (2 of 6)   An interrupt is basically what it sounds like ² a message from one part of the computer to another (normally to the system processor) that tells it that it needs to stop what it is doing. and do something else instead. We use our computers in a way that requires the processor to at least appear to do many things at once.

. Many of the different parts of the PC need to send information to and from the CPU.IRQs (3 of 6)    The processor is able to do this by sharing its time among the various programs it is running and the different devices that need its attention. It seems as if its doing many things at once because it is able to switch between tasks in a blindingly high speed.

IRQs (4 of 6)  There are 2 basic ways that the processor could use in order to give the different parts the attention they need: Polling  Interrupting  .

 .  Different devices need the processor·s attention at differing rates. the mouse needs attention far less frequently than the hard disk.IRQs (5 of 6)  Polling Processor takes turns going to each device and asking if they have anything they need it to do.  Waste of cycles because the processor could be doing something useful instead.

it generates an interrupt saying ´I need your attention nowµ.IRQs (6 of 6)  Interrupting Different devices request attention from the CPU when it is needed.  .  The processor stops what it is doing and deals with the device that made the request for attention.  It can actually handle many such requests at any one time.  When a device has data to transfer. This is done using a priority level.

The standard device for this is the Intel 8259 interrupt controller. modern motherboards incorporate this in the chipset. telling it which devices issued the request. The controller passes the request on to the CPU. . controller. Nowadays.Interrupt Controllers (1 of 3)    Device interrupts are fed to the processor using a special piece of hardware called an interrupt controller.

a second interrupt controller was added to the system to expand it. (IRQ 0 to 7) Starting with IBM AT. 2 interrupts were cascaded together in order not to change the single interrupt line going to the processor. .Interrupt Controllers (2 of 3)    The original PC had 8 input lines connected to the controller. and took requests from one of eight different devices.

The second one has the same design. which then signals the processor. the output from the controller triggers interrupt #2 on the first controller. .Interrupt Controllers (3 of 3)    The first interrupt controller still has 8 inputs and a single output going to the processor. but it takes 8 new inputs (doubling the number of interrupts) and its output feeds into input line 2 of the first controller. If any of the inputs on the second controller become active.

15). On an old PC/XT.14. the priority of the interrupts is 0.13.3.5.3.5. On a modern machine.4.10.6.6.1.7 .12. it·s slightly more complicated because of the fact that the second set of eight interrupts is piped through ´IRQ2µ 0.1.Interrupt Priorities    The PC processes device interrupts according to their priority level.11.4.(8.9.2.7.

NonNon-Maskable Interrupts (NMI) (1 of 2)    All of the regular interrupts that we normally use and refer to by number are called maskable interrupts. the PC has an NMI that can be used for serious. The processor is able to mask (or temporarily ignore) any interrupt if it needs to. in order to finish something else that it is doing. . On the other hand. conditions that demand the processor·s immediate attention.

. such as serious hardware errors.NonNon-Maskable Interrupts (NMI) (2 of 2)    The NMI cannot be ignored by the system unless it is specifically shut off. This is why it is used only for critical problem situations. the processor immediately drops whatever it was doing and attends to it. When an NMI signal is received. This could cause havoc.

you may be able to have them share an IRQ. Common examples include COM port conflicts . singleIf you attempt to use two devices with the same IRQ. If you have two devices that you seldom use. interrupts are single-device resources. It is possible to share an IRQ among more than one device. but only under limited conditions. an IRQ conflict will result.Interrupt Conflicts      In general.

Very old (EGA) Graphics Cards. network & tape accelerator cards COM3. network & tape accelerator cards . modems. sound. sound. modems.Summary of IRQs (1 of 3)  The table below provides summary information about the 16 IRQ levels in a typical PC: IRQ 0 1 2 3 4 Bus Line? No No No (rerouted) 8/16-bit 8/168/16-bit 8/16- Priority 1 2 n/a 11 12 Typical Default Use System Timer Keyboard Controller None: Cascade for IRQs 8-15 8COM2 (second serial port) COM1 (first serial port) Other Common Uses None None Modems. COM3. COM4 COM4.

LPT3. COM3. SCSI host adapters. network and tape accelerator cards None Network or sound cards. network and tape accelerator cards Tape accelerator cards LPT2. COM4. PCI devices 6 7 8/16-bit 8/168/16-bit 8/16- 14 15 Floppy Disk Controller LPT1(first parallel port) Real-time Clock RealNone 8 9 No 16-bit only 16- 3 4 10 16-bit only 16- 5 None . SCSI host adapters. rerouted IRQ2 devices Network or sound cards. modems. COM4. COM3. modems. LPT3. PCI devices.Summary of IRQs (2 of 3) IRQ 5 Bus Line? 8/16-bit 8/16- Priority 13 Typical Default Use Sound Card Other Common Uses LPT2.

VGA video cards. PCI devices None SCSI host adapters Network cards. PCI devices Network or sound cards. VGA video cards. SCSI host adapters 12 16-bit only 16- 7 PS/2 Mouse 13 14 15 No 16-bit only 1616-bit only 16- 8 9 10 Floating Point Unit Co-processor CoPrimary IDE channel Secondary IDE channel . SCSI host adapters.Summary of IRQs IRQ 11 (3 of 3) Bus Line? 16-bit only 16- Priority 6 Typical Default Use None Other Common Uses Network or sound cards. SCSI host adapters.

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