Chapter 5. MACHINE LANGUAGE
Machine language is the language seen by the processor. The bytes fetched in the fetch-execute cycle are bytes of machine code. Assembly language can be defined as language which gives the programmer control over the machine code. Assembly language specifies machine code. This characteristic feature of assembly language will not be apparent without some familiarity with machine language. In this chapter the main features of x86 machine code are presented.
The process of converting assembly code into machine code is called assembling. A program which takes assembly language as input and produces machine language as output is called an assembler. It is similar to a compiler but it operates at a lower level.