Книга: Real-Time Concepts for Embedded Systems

4.4.4 The Dispatcher

4.4.4 The Dispatcher

The dispatcher is the part of the scheduler that performs context switching and changes the flow of execution. At any time an RTOS is running, the flow of execution, also known as flow of control, is passing through one of three areas: through an application task, through an ISR, or through the kernel. When a task or ISR makes a system call, the flow of control passes to the kernel to execute one of the system routines provided by the kernel. When it is time to leave the kernel, the dispatcher is responsible for passing control to one of the tasks in the user’s application. It will not necessarily be the same task that made the system call. It is the scheduling algorithms (to be discussed shortly) of the scheduler that determines which task executes next. It is the dispatcher that does the actual work of context switching and passing execution control.

Depending on how the kernel is first entered, dispatching can happen differently. When a task makes system calls, the dispatcher is used to exit the kernel after every system call completes. In this case, the dispatcher is used on a call-by-call basis so that it can coordinate task-state transitions that any of the system calls might have caused. (One or more tasks may have become ready to run, for example.)

On the other hand, if an ISR makes system calls, the dispatcher is bypassed until the ISR fully completes its execution. This process is true even if some resources have been freed that would normally trigger a context switch between tasks. These context switches do not take place because the ISR must complete without being interrupted by tasks. After the ISR completes execution, the kernel exits through the dispatcher so that it can then dispatch the correct task.

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