Writing Device Drivers

Legacy Interrupts

The only information that the system has about a device interrupt is the priority level of the bus interrupt and the interrupt request number. An example of the priority level for a bus interrupt is the IPL on an SBus in a SPARC machine. An example of an interrupt request number is the IRQ on an ISA bus in an x86 machine.

When an interrupt handler is registered, the system adds the handler to a list of potential interrupt handlers for each IPL or IRQ. When the interrupt occurs, the system must determine which device actually caused the interrupt, among all devices that are associated with a given IPL or IRQ. The system calls all the interrupt handlers for the designated IPL or IRQ until one handler claims the interrupt.

The following buses are capable of supporting polled interrupts: