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Xen 3.0 Virtualization Interface Guide
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5. Event Channels

Event channels are the basic primitive provided by Xen for event notifications. An event is the Xen equivalent of a hardware interrupt. They essentially store one bit of information, the event of interest is signalled by transitioning this bit from 0 to 1.

Notifications are received by a guest via an upcall from Xen, indicating when an event arrives (setting the bit). Further notifications are masked until the bit is cleared again (therefore, guests must check the value of the bit after re-enabling event delivery to ensure no missed notifications).

Event notifications can be masked by setting a flag; this is equivalent to disabling interrupts and can be used to ensure atomicity of certain operations in the guest kernel.

Xen 3.0 Virtualization Interface Guide
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  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire