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What is a non-maskable interrupt?

What is a non-maskable interrupt?

What is a non-maskable interrupt (NMI) and what is its role?
The basic idea is that a processor can mask or block interrupt requests to have the processor perform a task. A processor will typically not do this unless it gets really bogged down or busy. A non-maskable interrupt is used for very high priority tasks that you don't want the processor to be able to mask when it gets bogged down.
This was first published in March 2006

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