Exception and Interrupt Handling

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Embedded XINU utilizes a interrupt handling system which allows components to register custom interrupt handlers to the system at runtime or fall-back to the default trap handler.

MIPS processors will jump to and execute code beginning at 0x8000 0180 when an exception or interrupt occurs. Code for handling traps must occupy no more than 0x20 bytes at this location (eight instructions), therefore Embedded XINU uses three instructions to jump to different code which will handle traps more robustly.

In order to handle exceptions (such as TLB misses) efficiently, Embedded XINU uses an interrupt vector system to quickly read the exception code, load the registered exception handler, and jump to the handler. If any of these steps do not exist, the handler will fall-back to the default trap handler.

If an interrupt has occurred it is important to save the state of the processor and handle the interrupt gracefully so the system can continue running. Thus, if the interrupt handler was called by an interrupt and not an exception, the code will save the state of the processor and perform a similar lookup for interrupt handlers.

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