Wednesday, April 6, 2011

MIPS Exceptions Initialization and Handling on Linux

Exceptions and interrupts are un-expected events that disrupt the normal flow of execution. Interrupts are unexpected events from outside the CPU core. Exceptions are from within the CPU, including memory translation exceptions, cache misses, unusual program conditions such as unaligned loads, system calls and traps, and so on.

MIPS architecture adopts precise exception mechanisms, and make it easy for the software to deal with the exceptions. After any exception, CP0 EPC register points to the correct place to restart execution after the exception is dealt with.