SECTION VI-1: Introduction to PIC Assembly Programming

The CPU can work only in binary, it can do so at a very high speed.. To deal with 0's and 1's in order to program the computer. A program that consists of 0's and 1's is called machine language. In the early days of the computer, programmers coded programs in machine language. Although the hexadecimal system was used as a more efficient way to represent binary numbers, the process or working in machine code was still cumbersome for humans. Eventually, Assembly Languages were developed, which provided mnemonics for the machine code instructions, plus other features that made programming faster and less prone to error. The term mnemonic is frequently used in computer science and engineering literature to refer to codes and abbreviations that are relatively easy to remember. Assembly Language programs must be translated into machine code by a program called an assembler. Assembly language is referred to as a low-level language because it deals directly with the internal structure of the CPU. To program in assembly language, the programmer must know all the registers of the CPU and the size of each, as well as other details.

One can use many different programming languages, such as BASIC, Pascal, C, C++, Java etc. These languages are called high-level languages because the programmer does not have to be concerned with the internal details of the CPU. Whereas an assembler is used to translate an assembly language program into machine code, some time called object code or opcode for operation code. High level languages are translated into machine code by a program called a compiler. To write a program in C, one must use a C compiler to translate the program into machine language.

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