Operating Systems - Understanding Hardware and Software Interrupts - Revised

Operating Systems
Free Course
Learn about interrupts in an operating system and how they are processed.
Start Course Now
  • Duration

    2-3 Hours
  • Assessment

  • Certification

  • Responsive

  • Publisher





View course modules


This course, Operating Systems - Understanding Hardware and Software Interrupts will discuss interrupts in a computer system and how operating systems handle interrupts. The course starts off with introducing you to interrupts in an operating system, where you will learn about the different types of interrupts and how a system handles a hardware interrupt. You will be taught about a programmable interrupt controller and how it handles hardware interrupts.

You will also learn about the advanced programable interrupt controller, and how it is used for modern system as well as the steps involved in handling an interrupt. Then, you will learn about what the CPU and operating system do in each of the steps in handling an interrupt. The next topic introduced is software interrupts and how they are used for implementing system calls. You will learn about how system calls work and about some of the different types of system calls you can use as well as the parameters passed into a system call and where they come from.

You will be taught what a resource descriptor is used for in a system call, and about CPU context switching and when the occur. You will learn about the trap frame and what happens when a software interrupt occurs. Lastly, you will learn about context switch overheads and factors effecting context switching time. This course will be of great interest to computer science students and computer engineers, and anyone who wants to learn more about Interrupts in computer operating systems.

Prerequisites: The Learner will need to have completed the previous courses: Introduction to Operating Systems. Introduction to Memory Management. Introduction to Operating Systems Processes.

Start Course Now

Learning Outcomes

Having completed this course, you will be able to:

  • Describe the three types of Interrupts in Operating system.
  • List the steps in a hardware interrupt.
  • Describe how a software interrupt happens.
  • List factors that affect context switching.
  • Describe how a CPU switches between processes.


All Alison courses are free to enrol, study and complete. To successfully complete this Certificate course and become an Alison Graduate, you need to achieve 80% or higher in each course assessment. Once you have completed this Certificate course, you have the option to acquire official Certification, which is a great way to share your achievement with the world. Your Alison Certification is:

Ideal for sharing with potential employers - include it in your CV, professional social media profiles and job applications
An indication of your commitment to continuously learn, upskill and achieve high results
An incentive for you to continue empowering yourself through lifelong learning

Alison offers 3 types of Certification for completed Certificate courses:

Digital Certificate - a downloadable Certificate in PDF format, immediately available to you when you complete your purchase
Certificate - a physical version of your officially branded and security-marked Certificate, posted to you with FREE shipping
Framed Certificate - a physical version of your officially branded and security-marked Certificate in a stylish frame, posted to you with FREE shipping

All Certification is available to purchase through the Alison Shop. For more information on purchasing Alison Certification, please visit our faqs. If you decide not to purchase your Alison Certification, you can still demonstrate your achievement by sharing your Learner Record or Learner Achievement Verification, both of which are accessible from your Dashboard. For more details on our Certification pricing, please visit our Pricing Page.


Course Reviews


You have received a new notification

Click here to view them all