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Linux.com: The Great IRQ Debate in the Linux Kernel

Dec 15, 2006, 16:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Joe Barr)

"We interrupt our normal kernel hacking in order to bring you this special report on an outbreak of IRQ warfare. OK, wait. I just made that up as an example of what happens when a device on your PC wants the processor, in hardware terms, or the kernel, from a software point of view, to do something. To signal the processor that it needs something done, the device turns on the appropriate IRQ, short for Interrupt ReQuest. The kernel takes care of business by satisfying the request, then turns the IRQ off again.

"There has been a lot of talk lately on the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML) about allowing the devices themselves to control turning the IRQ off. Those who want to make it easier for closed source drivers to interact with the kernel would like to have that capability. Torvalds is firmly against it. It's the binary blob versus the GPL all over again, but along different fault lines..."

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