Difference Between Polling and Interrupt

Difference Between Polling and Interrupt

There are a few items and measures that must be followed in order to maintain an electronic device, like a computer, secures and prevent any difficulties that may arise as a result of its use. When a device completes a certain task provided by the user, the device executes the task and determines whether or not the assignment has been done successfully. There are a variety of methods that a user might use to find out. Polling and Interrupt are two examples of these methods. The device may be polled by the user, or it can be interrupted by the user.

Polling Vs. Interrupt

The most significant distinction between polling and interrupt is the functions that they each perform in the operation of a system. When polling is performed, the device is carefully and frequently surveyed to determine whether or not it needs service. In contrast, when an interrupt occurs, the device is warned that it needs to be repaired or replaced. To put it another way, polling is a protocol, but an interrupt is a physical mechanism.

What is Polling?

Polling is the procedure by which a device is polled to see whether it requires any maintenance or service. It is referred to as a coeval process. It is also referred to as polled I/O or software-driven I/O in certain circles. This approach makes use of low-level hardware components. When a large number of devices need to be verified and surveyed, this might take a long time.

The polling process is divided into two stages, which are referred to as host actions and controller actions. The busy bit is totally read by the host while performing host activities. Once the busy bit has been cleared, the host sets the command-ready bit to 1 to indicate that the command is ready. The command is written to the command register by the host before the command-ready bit is set to 1 by the command-ready bit.

The controller actions are the second phase in the process. The command-ready bit has already been set to 1 during this stage, and the controller has taken note of this. The controller then sets the busy bit to 1 to indicate that it is in use. It is the controller that reads and performs the I/O operations after reading the command register and ensuring that a write bit is present in it. The operations have been cleared and have been shown to be successful.

Using polling, it is possible to regulate the information sequence of components engaged in measuring contexts, as well as the execution of those elements. This command may be used to manage the time of the CPU, together with the availability of other resources, in multitasking operating systems. Despite the fact that the likelihood of data being wasted is far greater in polls.

What is Interrupt?

In computing, an interrupt is a hardware mechanism that alerts the device anytime it wants service and must be responded to by software. Every time it has to be responded to by software, it sends an alert to the computer. Additionally, it ensures that the current job is finished on time. It is a form of hardware mechanism in the traditional sense.

There are two sorts of interrupts: hardware interrupts and software interrupts. Hardware interrupts are more common than software interrupts. In a hardware interrupt, the external hardware tells the internal hardware of the hardware’s state. When a given circumstance occurs, a CPU may seek an interrupt by requesting it from the operating system. When a software interrupt occurs, it is necessary to correlate it with a specific interrupt handler.

Depending on the situation, software interruptions might be planned or unforeseen. Special instruction is triggered in order to purposefully cause a software interrupt to be generated. Unexpected software interruptions may occur as a result of program execution faults that occur during the program’s execution. There are two sorts of interrupts, which are differentiated by the ways by which they are triggered: level-triggered interrupts and edge-triggered interrupts.

The occurrence of interruptions results in an improvement in the efficiency of the CPU, as well as a reduction in the waiting time of the CPU. Interrupts also help to reduce the amount of time spent waiting for instructions to complete. Some of the downsides of interruptions include that the CPU is forced to perform a large number of tasks in order to return to its prior program after an interruption.

Difference between Polling and Interrupt

  • The performance of the microcontroller is bad when polling is enabled. On the contrary, the performance of the microcontroller is excellent when it is placed in interrupt mode.
  • During polling, all of the processing cycles are spent while the device is being checked. Interrupts, on the other hand, occur when a specific device interrupts a CPU, causing the processor to be disrupted.
  • The CPU is placed on hold during polling. In contrast, when an interrupt occurs, the CPU is invoked if it is necessary.
  • In addition, voting takes occur at regular periods of time. When it comes to interrupts, they happen whenever and wherever they happen.
  • Polling is a form of protocol that is used. Interrupts, on the other hand, are a form of hardware mechanism that may be used.


Both operations have the effect of increasing the efficiency of the item and providing us with a hassle-free experience when we use it. Both activities are critical in order to maintain the gadget safer and more effective.

Both approaches have benefits and downsides that must be considered. The benefits are much more beneficial. The drawbacks should be eliminated in the next years as a result of further technological advancement.

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