The purpose of this article is to explain the “Advantages and Disadvantages of Assembly Language“.
In computer language, instructions are understood differently than in human language. Computers are able to communicate with us because of the language they use. Machine language, assembly language, and high-level languages are three types of computer languages. A machine language instruction is expressed in binary form, that is, as digits 0 and 1. Although the central processor (CPU) understands the command without a problem, it is unfortunately quite complicated for human beings to comprehend. Assembler language was created during this time, with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
In assembly language, words are used instead of numbers. Also, the operation is fast. Compared to high-level languages, high-level languages are programmer-friendly, so they are easy to understand. Assembly languages have some downsides as well; the pros outweigh the cons. This section examines both sides.
Advantages of assembly language
A new programming language called assembly language was developed in the 1940s and quickly rose to prominence. Although we use an assembler to create assembly code since the machine can only comprehend binary code, mnemonics and operands are still included. Basically, this gives the assembler the ability to convert assembly language into machine language. Overall performance is improved significantly. Assembler language has the following benefits:
1. Simple execution
Assembly language is used to execute the program. In this manner, the code can be read by humans, while on the other hand closely resembles machine code. Assembly programs are scanned and mapped to machine code (i.e., instructions for the machine) by an assembler, which then creates the instructions for the machine. Complex tasks can be executed without difficulty. As this language has a small number of operations, it is transparent. Debugging is also facilitated with this language. Therefore, operational costs are reduced.
2. Runs faster
Assembly language can be used if you want your program to perform well at high speeds. The assembly language codes are smaller but still readable because the programmers write them in assembly language. Programs written in assembly language run faster and take less time. Optimal resource utilization is another reason for rapid execution. During the execution of the specific job, it uses only the resources that are required. When compared to its counterpart, high-level languages, which require more resources, execution speed will be affected.
3. Better control on hardware
Assembler language allows programmers to control a computer’s actions precisely. Direct manipulation of hardware is possible with this programming language, which can lead to greater control. Due to the CPU’s understanding of this language, you can directly access the hardware. In this way, assembly language can be described as hardware-focused.
4. Memory efficient
By writing code in assembly language, you direct the processor of the system to understand the commands. This reduces the memory usage of the program. In assembly language, data is stored in registers, which is why most of the instructions deal with them. Assembly language memory is efficient because of these registers.
5. Used in critical jobs
Processing speed is crucial for some jobs, so they need to be handled quickly. For situations such as those described above, assembly language guarantees that code remains small and faster. Furthermore, the programmers can choose the instructions that are the best fit for each situation with this programming language.
Disadvantages of assembly language
Perhaps you are wondering why assembly language isn’t more widely used since it has numerous advantages. High-level languages, such as C, are quite easy to use in comparison to alternative options, such as C. However, assembly language has its drawbacks.
As programmer-friendly as high-level languages are, even writing simple code like “Hello World!” is straightforward. Assembly language, however, is not as straightforward. Data, code, stack, and extra segments are divided into four segments in this case. Unless programmers understand the hardware they are working with, they cannot simply write the codes. In order to begin with, they should become familiar with the microprocessor’s internal structure.
Assembly language has the advantage of giving more control over the hardware. The disadvantage is, however, that programmers must be precise in their writing to achieve the desired result. It means they must specify the memory locations along with defining the complete program. As a result, assembly language is not for people who are not willing to undertake a lengthy process. This programming language is complex and may confuse you.
2. Difficult syntax
According to syntax, the rules that define a language are based on its structure. If the syntax is simple, then writing code is easier. However, assembly language is difficult to learn because of its complex syntax. In assembly language, a statement includes four fields: a label, an operation, an operand, and a comment. As a result, even small operations can take a long time to execute. Furthermore, executing long programs in assembly language can sometimes generate negative results due to difficulties that arise during execution.
Having discussed the complexity and difficult syntax, we should not be surprised to learn that tedious and labor-intensive are negative characteristics. A great deal of time and energy must also be invested. Code in assembly language must be meticulously written. It does so because it instructs the hardware to perform the functions you request. Some high-level languages are not compatible with all hardware. Such situations force you to learn the assembly language, and you have no other choice.
4. Lack of portability
Assembly language is not portable, which is one of its main drawbacks. In addition to using an assembler, the code is compiled with a lot of other tools. A different assembly language is used for each assembler. Therefore, assembly language must be specifically designed for given computer architecture. This makes assembly language incompatible with portable programming languages. In this case, you would need to rewrite the code to run on another machine since the assembly language is not portable. It could even be completely rewritten from scratch.
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