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Understanding device drivers in Operating System/2

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1 Author(s)
A. M. Mizell ; IBM Entry Systems Division, 1OOO NWS 51st Street, Bocu Raton, Florida 33432, USA

To meet its design goals for multitasking, Operating System/2™ requires a device driver architecture for interrupt-driven device management. A device driver in OS/2™ is affected by the new architecture both in its structure and in its relationship to the system. An OS/2 device driver contains components, such as the Strategy Routine and Hardware Interrupt Handler, which have well-defined responsibilities. The basic form of these components is a FAR CALL/FAR RETURN model. The operating system calls the device driver components to handle certain types of events, such as an application I/O request or a device interrupt. In responding to these events, an OS/2 device driver must cooperate with the operating system to preserve system responsiveness by helping to manage the multitasking of concurrent activities. Since OS/2 uses both the real mode and the protected mode of the system processor to support DOS and OS/2 applications, respectively, the components of an OS/2 device driver must execute in both modes. In this manner, an OS/2 device driver can be viewed as an installable extension of the Operating System/2 kernel. Comparisons between IBM Personal Computer DOS and Operating System/2 are drawn to illustrate differences between device management and device driver architecture.

Note: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Incorporated is distributing this Article with permission of the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) who is the exclusive owner. The recipient of this Article may not assign, sublicense, lease, rent or otherwise transfer, reproduce, prepare derivative works, publicly display or perform, or distribute the Article.  

Published in:

IBM Systems Journal  (Volume:27 ,  Issue: 2 )