Assembly Language Programming: Advantages & Disadvantages [2023]

Assembly Language Programming
Assembly Language Programming

Do you want to know, what Assembly Language Programming is? And how do Assembly Languages still survive in the 3rd decade 21st century? What are the Plus Points or Advantages of Assembly Languages? And why these low-lever programming languages are not generally used for software development?


By going through this article, I can assure you that you would be able to answer the questions related to the ASM. You would be well known how things work on CPU.


I have researched the ASM Language on different Internet Platforms i.e. Websites i.e IBM, Intel, and Books (X86-64 Assembly Language with Ubuntu). Therefore, I can assure you about the validation and correctness of the data and information provided in this explanatory Article.


In this article, I have covered the introductory topics of Assembly Language, Assembler, further Advantages and Disadvantages of the ASM.


Unfolding the Topic:

Let’s Understand the architecture of Computers and their layers of working.

The very first problem that may rise in one’s mind can be about how to make a set of rules for machines to perform a different range of tasks?

Microprocessors can only understand strings of 0s and 1s. Each CPU Developing Company fixes the patterns of 0s and 1s for different operations, commands, numbers, etc. These fixed patterns of 0s and 1s are collectively known as Machine Language.

The Second problem is that it is inconvenient for a programmer to understand Machine Language patterns and make programs on them.

Here Assembly Language enters to solve the problem of difficulty in creating programs with Machine Language. ASM provides an ease to the programmer in creating programs for specific microprocessors. Its syntax is human-readable and understandable.



What is Assembly Language Programming?

Assembly Languages also known as ASM or Assembly is a Hardware - CPU-specific low-level computer programming language. It is near to machine language and its syntax is readable and understandable to humans. No doubt, its syntax is difficult as compared to the High-Level Languages but easier than Machine Language. ASM or Assembly Language is famous among students of Computer Science and Engineering because it leaves the knowledge of how programs work in CPU - Microprocessor

The following are the main components of the ASM Language:

1). Command:

It is an instruction of the ASM program for the assembler to do some action.

For Example: To add something, or move data from 1 register to another, etc 


2). Label:

Labels can be a number, text, or any symbol used as an address or reference to access specific Locations on memory.


3). Operand:

Operands are similar to the Variables of High-Level Language. Their value can be edited by the assembler at any stage of the program to apply further commands to it.


4). Mnemonic:

They are often a short form of names of Operations.

For Example           MOV  - Move

                                Add     - Addition etc.

5). Registers:

The register is the memory location inside the Micro Processor for speeding up storing and retrieving data. Its definition is the same as one may have learned in Basic Computer Science Subjects.


6). Macro:

It is a statement that stores the instructions, locations, and directives.


7). Directive:

It is an instruction statement for the assembler to perform some action, similar to Command.

 Also Read: Complete Data Science Roadmap


What is an Assembler?

An Assembler is a software program that translates machine-specific Assembly Language code into a series of discrete electrical signals i.e. 0s and 1s, in short, Machine Language. As Machines can only interpret discrete electrical signal patterns, not English letters or numbers. Therefore, the Assembler converts the Human Readable ASM Commands into Machine Language.



Advantages of Assembly Language:

There are a number of Pros or Advantages of using Assembly Languages. A few of these are as follows:

1). Direct Hardware Control:

The ASM Language works very closely with the CPU. Through this Language, one can easily access memory addresses and Registers. Hence, this can help the programmer to create storage-efficient programs.


2). High Performance:

As discussed in the last point, the ASM Language is very close to the architecture of the Micro-Processor. This helps the program developers to utilize all resources of the CPU properly. In this way, the ASM programs become High Performance in nature.


3). Less memory Usage and Fast Execution:

The ASM programs utilized the storage very efficiently. The proper utilization of registers and data addressing makes the ASM programs Storage efficient.

As a result of proper usage and utilization of storage resources, fast execution of Assembly Language programs becomes possible.


4). Low-Level but Human Read and understandable:

Compared to Machine Language, patterns of a series of discrete electrical signals to communicate with the CPU, Assembly Language is Human Readable and Understandable. The ASM Languages have made the life of programmers much more effortless. Although it is a Low-Level Language, it has revolutionized the way of communicating with machines.


5). Helps to understand how CPU works, Education:

In most Computer Science and System Engineering courses the ASM is taught. It is because the usage of Assembly Language can help students to understand how things work within the CPU, and how data is stored in registers, retrieved from them.


Disadvantages of Assembly Language:

If there are a number of Advantages of Assembler Languages, then one may also want to know about the shortcoming of it. There are a number of limitations in the Application of Assembly Languages, and these are as follows:

1). Time taking in writing code:

The small range of featured commands in ASM makes it difficult for a software programmer to create the logic for the program for achieving goals.


2). Difficult syntax:

The syntax of ASM is a bit tricky as it uses mnemonics in its syntax, corresponding with operators in High-Level Languages.


3). Not portable:

Assembly Language depends on the architecture of any specific microprocessor. The ASM language is not general for all. Hence it is not a portable Programming Language.


4). Error debugging isn’t present:

The ASM Assembler does not have a proper error debugging mechanism to figure out bugs. Hence, Error Debugging is not good in Assembly Language.


5). Less Number of Operations:

The ASM has only a very few numbers of operations available. Hence, to achieve the proper capability of the microprocessor the ASM operations are not sufficient.

 Also Read: Object Oriented Programming - OOP


Ending Words:

It can be said that Assembly Language Programming is an old and less featured language, but it is very important to create a communication channel with the CPU Machine. It is very important in the cases of straightforward but storage and speed-sensitive programs.

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