Hardware power management events trigger an OS-visible interrupt called a ``system control interrupt'' (SCI). Operating systems handle simple SCI interrupts (e.g. fixed-feature power button state change) directly. Complex SCI interrupts are are handled by the OS using AML code associated with the interrupt. For example, consider what happens when a ``sleep'' SCI interrupt occurs. The kernel must first save hardware state. The kernel then calls the _PTS (prepare to sleep) method. Finally, it puts the system to sleep by writing the appropriate value to an ACPI register.
In ACPI there are six power states: S0, S1, S2, S3, S4, and S5. These states are defined as follows:
In addition to managing transitions between system power states, ACPI can also manage the power state of individual devices to a fine-grained level. For example, if two devices share the same power line, that information can be encoded in the ACPI tables in such a way that the power line is active only if one or both of the devices are in use.