The main difference between machine code and assembly language is that the machine code is a language that consists of binaries that can be directly executed by a computer while an assembly language is a low-level programming language that requires a software called an assembler to convert it into machine code.
Programmers write computer programs using programming languages. A program is a set of instructions to perform a specific task. Mainly, there are three categories of programming languages as high-level programming languages, assembly language and machine code. Here, humans can easily understand the high-level languages whereas the computers can easily understand the machine code. On the other hand, assembly language is a language between high-level languages and machine code.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Machine Code
– Definition, Functionality
2. What is Assembly Language
– Definition, Functionality
3. What is the Difference Between Machine Code and Assembly Language
– Comparison of Key Differences
Assembler, Assembly Language, Machine Code, Programming Languages
What is Machine Code
A programmer writes computer programs using high-level programming languages. These languages have a simple and easily understandable syntax, similar to the English language. C, C++, Python, Java are some examples of high-level programming languages. However, the CPU does not understand these programs or the source codes. Therefore, it is necessary to convert these high-level programs into machine-understandable machine code. The compiler or an interpreter performs this conversion.
We also call machine code as machine language. It consists of binary digits, which are zeros and ones. The “one” indicates the true state while the “zero” indicates the false state.
What is Assembly Language
Assembly language is an intermediate language between high-level language and machine code. It is one level above machine code and one level below high-level languages. Moreover, it has a syntax similar to English, but it is more difficult than high-level programming languages.
Assembly language is closer to the hardware level. Therefore, it is considered a low-level language. In this, the programmer should have a good understanding of the computer architecture and register structure to write programs in Assembly. Then, an assembler converts the assembly language program into machine code. Hence, this language is more useful for building real-time, embedded systems.
Difference Between Machine Code and Assembly Language
Machine code is a computer program written in machine language instructions that can be executed directly by a computer’s central processing unit (CPU). Conversely, assembly language is a low-level programming language in which there is a strong correspondence between the program’s statements and the architecture’s machine code instructions. Hence, this is the fundamental difference between machine code and assembly language.
Machine code consists of binaries, which are zeros and ones. Assembly language, on the other hand, follows a syntax similar to the English Language. Therefore, this is a major difference between machine code and assembly language.
Only the CPU understands the machine code; however, the programmer understands the assembly language.
Another difference between machine code and assembly language is that the machine code depends on the platform or the operating system. But, assembly language consists of a set of standard instructions.
Considering the usage, the CPU can directly execute the machine code to perform the defined tasks in the computer program. On the other hand, real-time systems, and microcontroller-based embedded systems are some examples of applications using assembly language.
In brief, assembly language is one level ahead of machine code. The main difference between machine code and assembly language is that the machine code is a language consisting of binaries that can be directly executed by a computer while an assembly language is a low-level programming language that requires a software called an assembler to convert it into machine code.