Internal Interrupt

Definition - What does Internal Interrupt mean?

An internal interrupt is a specific type of interrupt that is caused by instructions embedded in the execution instructions of a program or process. Typically, internal interrupts resist changes by users, and happen "naturally" or "automatically" as a processor works through program instructions, rather than being caused by external events or network connections.

Techopedia explains Internal Interrupt

In general, an interrupt happens when an operating system switches from one task to another. The operating system can only handle one task at a given time, but by using an elaborate pattern of program switches, the system can seem to do more, to multitask in ways that are convenient for the user.

A good way to describe an internal interrupt is that it happens when a machine is working through program instructions in a linear way. The machine is going about its business within a single program, without outside interference from peripherals, from the computer operator or from external network signals. Any internal interrupt may happen if a specific program is engineered to stop when it has reached a certain stage of development. When a program requires the operating system to read through a cache or buffer before stopping and becoming available for other tasks, that would be an instance of an internal interrupt.

The internal interrupt is often contrasted with external interrupts, which can happen in many forms.

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