Difference Between Maskable and Non-Maskable Interrupt

Maskable Vs. Non-Maskable Interrupt: Know the Difference Between Maskable and Non-Maskable Interrupt

The term interrupt refers to an event that any component of a computer causes (other than its CPU). Interrupt designates as the CPU of any event that is external and requires immediate attention from the system. The occurrence of Interrupts is asynchronous. There are two basic types of interrupts, namely non-maskable and maskable interrupts.

What is Maskable Interrupt?

A Maskable Interrupt is the one that is capable of ignoring/ enabling the instructions of the system’s CPU alone. One can easily trigger such interrupts in two major ways. Thus, they are either level-triggered or edge-triggered.

What is Non-Maskable Interrupt?

The type of interrupt that the instructions of a system’s CPU can easily ignore or disable is known as Non-Maskable Interrupt. Such a type of interrupt usually comes into play when the response time is very critical. It also acts as a commendable option when we don’t want to disable an interrupt during a normal operation of a system. Such a type of interrupt uses instances like profiling, system debugging, hardware errors of non-reporting type, and special cases handling such as resetting of a system.

Difference Between Maskable and Non-Maskable Interrupt

Parameters

Maskable Interrupt

Non-Maskable Interrupt

Definition and Meaning

It is a hardware interrupt that the instructions of a system’s CPU can easily disable or ignore.

It is a hardware interrupt that the instructions of a system’s CPU cannot ignore or disable by any means.

Interrupt Execution and Handling

When an interrupt of this type occurs, the system can handle it after it executes the current instructions.

When an interrupt of this type occurs, the system can store the current status and interrupts in the stack- so that the CPU gets to handle the interrupt.

Priority of Tasks

It helps in handling the tasks that are of a lower priority.

It helps in handling the tasks that are of a higher priority- for example, a watchdog timer.

Uses

One can make use of a Maskable Interrupt in the interfaces with the peripheral devices.

One can make use of a Non-Maskable Interrupt in case of emergencies, such as smoke detectors, power failures, and many more.

Response Time

A Maskable Interrupt has a comparatively higher response time.

A Non-Maskable Interrupt has a very low response time as compared to the Maskable ones.

Vectoring

This type of interrupt can be both vectored as well as non-vectored.

All of such interrupts of this type stay vectored in nature.

Masked Operation

It can mask operations or make them pending.

It cannot mask operations or make them pending.

Examples

A few examples of Maskable Interrupt are RST7.5, RST6.5 of 8085, etc.

A commendable example of Non-Maskable Interrupt is the Trap of 8085.

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