Low-Level Programming: C, Assembly, and Program Execution on Intel 64 Architecture

  • 7h 17m
  • Igor Zhirkov
  • Apress
  • 2017

Learn Intel 64 assembly language and architecture, become proficient in C, and understand how the programs are compiled and executed down to machine instructions, enabling you to write robust, high-performance code.

Low-Level Programming explains Intel 64 architecture as the result of von Neumann architecture evolution. The book teaches the latest version of the C language (C11) and assembly language from scratch. It covers the entire path from source code to program execution, including generation of ELF object files, and static and dynamic linking. Code examples and exercises are included along with the best code practices. Optimization capabilities and limits of modern compilers are examined, enabling you to balance between program readability and performance. The use of various performance-gain techniques is demonstrated, such as SSE instructions and pre-fetching. Relevant Computer Science topics such as models of computation and formal grammars are addressed, and their practical value explained.

What You'll Learn

Low-Level Programming teaches programmers to:

  • Freely write in assembly language
  • Understand the programming model of Intel 64
  • Write maintainable and robust code in C11
  • Follow the compilation process and decipher assembly listings
  • Debug errors in compiled assembly code
  • Use appropriate models of computation to greatly reduce program complexity
  • Write performance-critical code
  • Comprehend the impact of a weak memory model in multi-threaded applications

Who This Book Is For

Intermediate to advanced programmers and programming students

About the Author

Igor Zhirkov teaches his highly successful “System Programming Languages” course at ITMO University in Saint Petersburg. He studied at Saint Petersburg Academic University and received his master degree from ITMO University. Currently, he is doing research in verified C refactorings as part of his PhD thesis and formalization of Bulk Synchronous Parallelism library in C at IMT Atlantique in Nantes, France. His main interests are low-level programming, programming language theory, and type theory.

In this Book

  • Basic Computer Architecture
  • Assembly Language
  • Legacy
  • Virtual Memory
  • Compilation Pipeline
  • Interrupts and System Calls
  • Models of Computation
  • Basics
  • Type System
  • Code Structure
  • Memory
  • Syntax, Semantics, and Pragmatics
  • Good Code Practices
  • Translation Details
  • Shared Objects and Code Models
  • Performance
  • Multithreading
  • Appendix A. Using gdb
  • Appendix B. Using Make
  • Appendix C. System Calls
  • Appendix D. Performance Tests Information
  • Bibliography