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created: 07/18/01; edits: 10/20/01, 02/22/03, 06/26/03, 07/06/15

CHAPTER 17 — Jump and Branch Instructions

The power of computers is their ability to repeat actions and their ability to alter their operation depending on data. Modern programming languages express these abilities using control structures. Repeated action (iteration) is done with a while structure. Alternative control paths (alternation) is done with an if-then-else structure.

The machine instructions of the processor do not have these structures, nor does assembly language. When you program in assembly language you must build these structures out of basic assembly instructions. These basic instructions are the jump instructions and the conditional branch instructions.

Chapter Topics:


When a program is executing, does each machine instruction have an address in main memory?