Difference Between Machine Language and Assembly Language

Difference Between Machine Language and Assembly Language

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Rashmi
Rashmi Karan
Manager - Content
Updated on Aug 14, 2023 15:38 IST

Read about the machine and assembly language and explore the difference between machine language and assembly language.

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Programming language is a set of instructions given by a human to a computer to enable it to perform a specific task or create an algorithm. There are three types of programming languages – ​

  • High-level programming languages (Humans can easily understand high-level programming languages)
  • Machine languages (Machines recognize machine languages)
  • Assembly languages (The language between high-level languages ​​and machine language)

In this article, we will cover the difference between machine language and assembly language.

Must check: Top 10 Programming Languages to Learn in 2023

Comparison Table – Machine Language vs Assembly Language

Machine Language Assembly Language
Definition  Machine language is the lowest-level programming language where the CPU executes the instructions directly. Assembly language is a low-level programming language that requires an assembler to convert to machine code/object code.
Understandability  Machine language is only understandable by computers. Assembly language is understandable to humans.
Execution  Execution is swift because their information is already stored in binary format. Execution is slow.
Syntax A machine language consists of binary digits. Assembly language follows a syntax similar to English.
Dependence Machine language varies by platform. Assembly language consists of a standard set of instructions
Translator  Not required. Machine language is the machine-intelligible form. Assembler is used as a translator.
Errors  Does not allow changes or error correction. Codes need to be written from scratch according to the type of CPU. Allows changes and error correction.
Applications CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray Discs. Microprocessor-based real-time systems, device drivers, low-level embedded systems, etc.

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What is Machine Language?

Human beings can understand high-level programming languages. They don’t need deep knowledge of the internal CPU to program using high-level languages. They follow a syntax similar to that of the English language. Some examples of high-level programming languages are Java, JavaScript, C, C++, and Python

Machine language, or machine code, is the native language directly understood by the computer’s central processor unit or CPU. This type of language is difficult to understand because it uses a binary system containing digits 0 and 1 to produce commands. Here 1 showcases the true or on state while 0 depicts the false or off state.

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What is Assembly Language?

Assembly language is the midway between high-level programming languages ​​and machine languages. It is easier than machine language but more complex than high-level programming languages. Assembly language is also referred to as a low-level language, given they are close to the hardware level. Users working on assembly language codes must know computer architecture and register structure. A compiler and an assembler convert assembly-level language code into machine language.

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Machine Languages vs Assembly Languages

  • Machine language is a sequence of bit patterns that provide instructions to a computer’s processor. These sequences of binary digits are not human-readable.
  • The op-codes in machine languages are not in assembly languages, which is almost similar to machine codes. However, it uses “mnemonics” instead of op-codes to translate assembly language instructions into more human-readable codes. These codes are then mapped onto the machine code.
  • Typically, every line of an assembly language code represents one CPU instruction. An assembler or computer program then translates the commands in mnemonic assembly language into their binary equivalents. The CPU then understands and implements binary commands.
  • A compiler translates the codes in high-level languages to machine or assembly languages. The programs in assembly languages are translated to machine languages via an assembler, a pre-written program.

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Conclusion

The key difference between machine and assembly language is that a computer and assembly language directly execute machine language and requires an assembler to convert it to machine code or object code for execution by the CPU. We hope this article helped you to differentiate between machine and assembly languages.

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FAQs

What is Machine Language?

Machine language is the lowest-level programming language where the CPU executes the instructions directly.

What is Assembly Language?

Assembly language is a low-level programming language that requires an assembler to convert to machine code or object code.

What is the difference between Machine Language and Assembly Language?

Machine language is a sequence of bit patterns that provide instructions to a computers processor. These sequences of binary digits are not human-readable. The op codes in machine languages are not in assembly languages, which is almost similar to machine codes. However, it uses mnemonics instead of opcodes to translate assembly language instructions into more human-readable codes. These codes are then mapped onto the machine code. Typically, every line of an assembly language code represents one CPU instruction. An assembler or computer program then translates the commands in mnemonic assembly language into their binary equivalents. The CPU then understands and implements binary commands. A compiler translates the codes in high-level languages to machine or assembly languages. The programs in assembly languages are translated to machine languages via an assembler, a pre written program.

About the Author
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Rashmi Karan
Manager - Content

Rashmi is a postgraduate in Biotechnology with a flair for research-oriented work and has an experience of over 13 years in content creation and social media handling. She has a diversified writing portfolio and aim... Read Full Bio