What is IRQ (interrupt request)? - Definition from WhatIs.com

Definition

IRQ (interrupt request)

Part of the Computing fundamentals glossary:

An IRQ (interrupt request) value is an assigned location where the computer can expect a particular device to interrupt it when the device sends the computer signals about its operation. For example, when a printer has finished printing, it sends an interrupt signal to the computer. The signal momentarily interrupts the computer so that it can decide what processing to do next. Since multiple signals to the computer on the same interrupt line might not be understood by the computer, a unique value must be specified for each device and its path to the computer. Prior to Plug-and Play (PnP) devices, users often had to set IRQ values manually (or be aware of them) when adding a new device to a computer.

If you add a device that does not support Pnp, the manufacturer will hopefully provide explicit directions on how to assign IRQ values for it. If you don't know what IRQ value to specify, you'll probably save time by calling the technical support phone number for the device manufacturer and asking.

This was last updated in September 2005
Contributor(s): Wendee Evans
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • IS (information system or information services)

    - An information system (IS) is the collection of technical and human resources that provide the storage, computing, distribution, and communication for the information required by all or some part o... (WhatIs.com)

  • distributed

    - Computing is said to be "distributed" when the computer programming and data that computers work on are spread out over more than one computer, usually over a network.Cloud computing is a particula... (WhatIs.com)

  • greedy algorithm

    - A greedy algorithm is a mathematical process that looks for simple, easy-to-implement solutions to complex, multi-step problems by deciding which next step will provide the most obvious benefit. (WhatIs.com)

Glossaries

  • Computing fundamentals

    - Terms related to computer fundamentals, including computer hardware definitions and words and phrases about software, operating systems, peripherals and troubleshooting.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question About IRQ (interrupt request)Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.