Programmable interrupt controller
A programmable interrupt controller (PIC) is an integrated circuit for managing multiple hardware interrupts and for their orderly forwarding to a processor (CPU). Processors (e.g. Intel and AMD processors) often only have one input for such interrupt requests. Therefore a PIC works as a multiplexer for the hardware interrupts. In today's computer designs, it is usually located in the southbridge of the main board chipset and forwards the information about the interruption to the CPU.
There are two different PICs for x86 hardware:
- the Intel 8259 (also called XT-PIC or simply "PIC")
- the Advanced Programmable Interrupt Controller (APIC)
The abbreviation PIC should not be confused with the microcontroller family PICmicro .
- Interrupt request (IRQ)