The value of assembler language programmers [was RE: Algol vs Fortran was RE: VHDL vs Verilog]

Ian King IanK at
Tue Feb 9 22:07:04 CST 2010

A big advantage of RISC is that the compiler can optimize code in some very serious, low-level ways that just aren't possible with a CISC ISA.  The granularity is simply smaller, allowing a good compiler to hoist loads, anticipate latencies and in many respects take into account the strengths and weaknesses of the individual processor.  -- Ian 
From: cctalk-bounces at [cctalk-bounces at] On Behalf Of Dave McGuire [mcguire at]
Sent: Tuesday, February 09, 2010 5:48 PM
To: General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts
Subject: Re: The value of assembler language programmers [was RE: Algol vs      Fortran was RE: VHDL vs Verilog]

On Feb 9, 2010, at 8:24 PM, Chuck Guzis wrote:
>> That's why I love to embedded stuff. And even here, any "reasonable"
>> Real Time OS of today, can't really boot with 48 kbytes of memory.
> Been on the AVR forums much lately?  It's getting more difficult to
> find someone who writes in assembler.  I suspect it's almost
> impossible on the ARM uC area.
> HLLs march on...

   In SOME places, yes.  AVRs are an interesting anomaly: They're
extremely powerful processors with very low barriers to entry.  Lots
of beginners start out with AVRs.  (I'm NOT suggesting that AVRs are
only for beginners!)  Lots of beginners also seem to think that
nobody programs in assembler anymore.

   Granted, far fewer do now than, say, thirty years ago, but lots
do.  One cannot replace all programming with HLLs, no more than one
can replace all programming with C# or Java.

   ARMs are damn near impossible to program in assembler.  That's why
everyone uses C in that world.  Lots of [modern incarnation] Z80, Z8,
8051, and low-end PIC development is done, both professionally and
otherwise, in assembler today.  Since those architectures aren't
changing, and it's mainly done that way because of the architectures,
I doubt it'll ever change.  It certainly hasn't yet.


Dave McGuire
Port Charlotte, FL

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