X86 Assembly Language - Mnemonics and Opcodes

Mnemonics and Opcodes

Further information: x86 instruction listings

Each x86 assembly instruction is represented by a mnemonic which, often combined with one or more operands, translates to one or more bytes called an opcode; the NOP instruction translates to 0x90, for instance and the HLT instruction translates to 0xF4. There are potential opcodes with no documented mnemonic which different processors may interpret differently, making a program using them behave inconsistently or even generate an exception on some processors. These opcodes often turn up in code writing competitions as a way to make the code smaller, faster, more elegant or just show off the author's prowess.

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