Programming in Assembly

Programming in Assembly:

It is a low-level programming language for a microcontroller, computer, or other programmable device, in which every statement corresponds to a single machine code instruction. All assembly language is specific to particular computer architecture, on the contrary to most high-level programming languages, generally which are portable across multiple systems.

It is converted into executable machine code via a utility program referred to as an assembler; the conversion procedure is referred to as assembly, or assembling the code.

It uses a mnemonic to represent each low-level machine operation or opcode. Some opcodes need one or more operands as part of the instruction, and most of the assemblers can take labels and symbols like operands to represent constants and addresses, rather than hard coding them into the program. Macro assemblers involved a macroinstruction facility so that assembly language text can be pre-assigned to a name, and that name can be utilized to insert the text to other code. Several assemblers offer added mechanisms to facilitate program development, to control the assembly procedure, and to aid debugging.

Sections of Assembly Language:

1) Assembler directives: It instructs the assembler how to process subsequent assembly language instructions. Directives also give a way to define program constants and reserve space for dynamic variables. Some of the directives may also set a location counter.

2) Assembly language instructions: These instructions are 68HC12 instructions. Some of the instructions are described with labels.

3) Comments: There are two kinds of comments in an assembly program. The first type is used to describe the function of a single directive or instruction. The second type describes the function of a group of instructions or directives or a whole routine. By adding comments makes a program more readable.

Features of Assembly program:

1. Its fast – Generally Assembly programs are faster than programs developed in higher level languages. Frequently, programmers write speed-essential functions in assembly.

2. Its powerful – You are given limitless power over your assembly programs. Sometimes, higher level languages have limitation that makes implementing certain things hard.

3. Its small – Assembly programs are frequently much smaller than programs written in other languages. It can be very useful if space is an issue.

The program developed into assembly language looks like this:

MOV AX, 47104
MOV DS, AX
MOV [3998], 36
INT 32

While an assembler reads this sample program, it converts each line of code to one CPU-level instruction. This program uses two kinds of instructions, INT and MOV. On Intel processors, the MOV instruction moves data around, whereas the INT instruction transfers processor control to the device drivers or operating system.

The program still isn't quite clear, however it is much easier to understand than it was before. The first instruction, MOV AX, 47104, instructs the computer to copy the number 47104 to the location AX. The next instruction, MOV DS, AX, instructs the computer to copy the number in AX into the position of DS. The next instruction, MOV [3998], 36 instructs the computer to put the number 36 into memory location 3998. At last, INT 32 exits the program by returning to the operating system.

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