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I have this question to answer: "Please shortly explain how an interface virtualizes a peripheral device to the CPU."

I don't really understand what the question is asking for. I know the theory behind virtual memory. I understand that a harddisk can be seen as a peripheral device.

Could the theory behind virtual memory be what the question is asking for or did I totally misunderstand it?

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"Virtualization" is a broad term that means abstracting away details of the device, and providing a more generic/abstract/higher-level interface or view of the device. Sometimes it involves pretending that you have a simpler virtual device (with simple commands) instead of the complex physical peripheral you actually have (with its messy interface).

See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storage_virtualization, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I/O_virtualization, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtualization, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_file_system, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_disk, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_virtualization.

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