Browse Definitions :
Definition

machine code (machine language)

Contributor(s): Stan Gibilisco, Marianne Doig

Machine code, also known as machine language, is the elemental language of computers. It is read by the computer's central processing unit (CPU), is composed of digital binary numbers and looks like a very long sequence of zeros and ones. Ultimately, the source code of every human-readable programming language must be translated to machine language by a compiler or an interpreter, because binary code is the only language that computer hardware can understand.

Each CPU has its own specific machine language. The processor reads and handles instructions, which tell the CPU to perform a simple task. Instructions are comprised of a certain number of bits. If instructions for a particular processor are 8 bits, for example, the first 4 bits part (the opcode) tells the computer what to do and the second 4 bits (the operand) tells the computer what data to use.

01001000 01100101 01101100 01101100 01101111 00100001

Depending upon the processor, a computer's instruction sets may all be the same length, or they may vary, depending upon the specific instruction. The architecture of the particular processor determines how instructions are patterned. The execution of instructions is controlled by firmware or the CPU's internal wiring.

Human programmers rarely, if ever, deal directly with machine code anymore. If developers are debugging a program at a low level, they might use a printout that shows the program in its machine code form. The printout, which is called a dump, is very difficult and to work with a tool called a dump. Utility programs used to create dumps will often represent four bits by a single hexadecimal to make the machine code easier to read and contain other information about the computer's operation, such as the address of the instruction that was being executed at the time the dump was initiated.

This was last updated in February 2018

Continue Reading About machine code (machine language)

Join the conversation

2 comments

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

Great Information!
For beginners they can also see : <a href="http://www.fresherstalent.com/2014/08/what-is-machine-language-in-computer.html">What is Machine Code in Programming Language - Chapter 2 | Freshers Talent</a>
Cancel
Thanks for sharing such beautiful information with us. I hope you'll some more info about Machine code. Please suggest here!


Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • compliance framework

    A compliance framework is a structured set of guidelines that details an organization's processes for maintaining accordance with...

  • regulatory compliance

    Regulatory compliance is an organization's adherence to laws, regulations, guidelines and specifications relevant to its business...

  • privacy compliance

    Privacy compliance is a company's accordance with established personal information protection guidelines, specifications or ...

SearchSecurity

SearchHealthIT

  • telemedicine (telehealth)

    Telemedicine is the remote delivery of healthcare services, such as health assessments or consultations, over the ...

  • Project Nightingale

    Project Nightingale is a controversial partnership between Google and Ascension, the second largest health system in the United ...

  • medical practice management (MPM) software

    Medical practice management (MPM) software is a collection of computerized services used by healthcare professionals and ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • disaster recovery (DR) test

    A disaster recovery test (DR test) is the examination of each step in a disaster recovery plan as outlined in an organization's ...

  • crisis management plan (CMP)

    A crisis management plan (CMP) is a document that outlines the processes an organization will use to respond to a critical ...

  • pandemic plan

    A pandemic plan is a documented strategy for business continuity in the event of a widespread outbreak of a dangerous infectious ...

SearchStorage

  • megabytes per second (MBps)

    Megabytes per second (MBps) is a unit of measurement for data transfer speed to and from a computer storage device.

  • zettabyte

    A zettabyte is a unit of measurement used by technology professionals and the general public to describe a computer or other ...

  • hybrid flash array

    A hybrid flash array is a solid-state storage system that contains a mix of flash memory drives and hard disk drives.

Close