What is Context Switch?

Switching the CPU to another process requires saving the state of the old process and loading the saved state for the new process. This task is known as a context switch. Context-switch time is pure overhead, because the system does no useful work while switching. Its speed varies from machine to machine, depending on the memory speed, the number of registers which must be copied, the existed of special instructions(such as a single instruction to load or store all registers).