Non-Maskable Interrupt

What Does Non-Maskable Interrupt Mean?

A non-maskable interrupt (NMI) is a type of hardware
interrupt (or signal to the processor) that prioritizes a certain thread
or process. Unlike other types of interrupts, the non-maskable interrupt cannot
be ignored through the use of interrupt masking techniques.


Techopedia Explains Non-Maskable Interrupt

Common examples of non-maskable interrupt include types of
internal system chipset errors, memory corruption problems, parity errors and
high-level errors needing immediate attention. In a sense, a non-maskable
interrupt is a way to prioritize certain signals within the operating system.
Another example is the user event non-maskable interrupt, where a user presses
control, alt, delete to create an immediate signal to the system when the
computer is not responding. This is a good example because it illustrates a
kind of “override” – rather than just following the general thread or process,
the ctrl-alt-delete produces a signal that the computer must and will deal with


Related Terms

Latest Computer Science Terms

Related Reading

Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…