software interruptAn interrupt caused by a specific machine language operation code (e.g. the Motorola 68000's TRAP, the IBM System/390's SVC or the ARM's SWI) rather than by a hardware event. As with a hardware interrupt, this causes the processor to store the current state, store identifying information about the particular interrupt, and pass control to a first level interrupt handler. A trap is similar except that it is caused by an unexpected software condition or error (e.g. divide by zero, undefined instruction) rather than a deliberate instruction.
Last updated: 1995-02-14