Interrupt Latency

When MVECEN = 1, there is a fixed latency of three instruction cycles between the completion of the instruction active when the interrupt occurred, and the first instruction of the Interrupt Service Routine. Figure 1, Figure 2 and Figure 3 illustrate the sequence of events when a peripheral interrupt is asserted, when the last executed instruction is one-cycle, two-cycle and three-cycle, respectively.

After the Interrupt Flag Status bit is set, the current instruction completes executing. In the first latency cycle, the contents of the PC, STATUS, WREG, BSR, FSR0/1/2, PRODL/H and PCLATH/U registers are context saved, and the IVTBASE + Vector number is calculated. In the second latency cycle, the PC is loaded with the calculated vector table address for the interrupt source, and the starting address of the ISR is fetched. In the third latency cycle, the PC is loaded with the ISR address. All the latency cycles are executed as NOP instructions.

When MVECEN = 0, the interrupt controller requires two clock cycles to vector to the ISR from the main routine. Note that, as this mode requires additional software to determine which interrupt source caused the interrupt, the actual latency between the trigger and the beginning of the specific ISR for each individual interrupt will be longer than two clock cycles and will vary, when not using vectored interrupts.

Figure 1. Interrupt Timing Diagram: One-Cycle Instruction
Figure 2. Interrupt Timing Diagram: Two-Cycle Instruction
Figure 3. Interrupt Timing Diagram: Three-Cycle Instruction