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Assembly Language Presented by Abigail Atiwag Assembly language is a low level programming language that is closely related to the architecture of a computer s central processing unit CPU Here are some key topics related to assembly language programming Machine Code and Assembly Language Machine Code Machine code consists of binary instructions that directly control the hardware of a computer Each instruction corresponds to a specific operation such as arithmetic calculations memory access or control flow Assembly Language Assembly language is a human readable representation of machine code using mnemonics and symbolic labels It allows programmers to write code that is easier to understand and maintain than raw binary instructions Instruction Set Architecture ISA ISA Basics ISA defines the set of instructions that a CPU can execute including arithmetic logical operations data movement branching and control instructions Instruction Format Instructions in assembly language typically have an opcode operation code and operands data or addresses The format of instructions varies based on the CPU architecture e g x86 ARM MIPS Registers Registers are small fast storage locations within the CPU used to hold data temporarily during program execution Assembly language instructions often operate on registers directly Assembly Language Syntax Mnemonics Mnemonics are symbolic representations of instructions e g MOV for move ADD for add JMP for jump Operands Operands specify data memory addresses or registers that instructions operate on They can be immediate values registers memory addresses or labels Directives Assembly language directives provide instructions to the assembler for tasks such as defining data allocating memory including external files and setting program attributes Basic Assembly Programming Concepts Data Types Assembly languages support data types such as integers characters floating point numbers and strings Data declarations define the type and size of data elements Memory Access Assembly instructions allow reading from and writing to memory locations including stack operations heap allocation and data manipulation Control Flow Control flow instructions include conditional branches e g JZ for jump if zero unconditional jumps e g JMP for jump loops e g LOOP for loop iteration and subroutine calls e g CALL for function call Assembler and Linker Assembler The assembler translates assembly language code into machine code generating an executable program or object files Linker The linker combines object files resolves external references and generates the final executable file by linking libraries and dependencies Debugging and Optimization Debugging Tools Debuggers and simulators help programmers debug assembly code by stepping through instructions inspecting registers and memory setting breakpoints and analyzing program state Performance Optimization Optimizing assembly code involves improving execution speed reducing memory usage and minimizing code size Techniques include loop unrolling instruction scheduling register allocation and using CPU specific optimizations Platform specific Assembly x86 Assembly x86 assembly language is used for Intel and AMD processors with instructions tailored to the x86 CPU architecture It includes instructions for arithmetic logic memory access string manipulation and system calls ARM Assembly ARM assembly language is used for ARM processors commonly found in mobile devices embedded systems and IoT devices It includes instructions for data processing load store operations branch instructions and coprocessor operations MIPS Assembly MIPS assembly language is used for MIPS processors in embedded systems networking equipment and educational purposes It includes instructions for arithmetic logic operations memory access control flow and system calls Application Areas of Assembly Language Embedded Systems Assembly language is often used in embedded systems programming where code efficiency and hardware control are critical Device Drivers Device drivers for hardware components often involve low level programming in assembly language to interact with hardware registers and interfaces System Programming Assembly language is used in system programming tasks such as operating system development kernel programming and bootloader implementation Performance critical Applications Certain performance critical applications such as real time systems signal processing cryptography and gaming may utilize assembly language for optimized performance Mastering assembly language programming requires a deep understanding of computer architecture CPU specific instructions memory management and low level programming concepts While it is not as commonly used in modern software development as higher level languages knowledge of assembly language can be invaluable for system level programming optimization and understanding how software interacts with hardware at a fundamental level THANK YOU

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SLU CSCI 334 - Assembly Language: Understanding Low-Level Programming

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