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

Table of Contents

Part I: Assembly Language and Computer Architecture
Chapter 1: Basic Computer Architecture
Chapter 2: Assembly Language
Chapter 3: Legacy
Chapter 4: Virtual Memory
Chapter 5: Compilation Pipeline
Chapter 6: Interrupts and System Calls
Chapter 7: Models of Computation

Part II: The C Programming Language
Chapter 8: Basics
Chapter 9: Type System
Chapter 10: Code Structure
Chapter 11: Memory
Chapter 12: Syntax, Semantics, and Pragmatics
Chapter 13: Good Code Practices

Part III: Between C and Assembly
Chapter 14: Translation Details
Chapter 15: Shared Objects and Code Models
Chapter 16: Performance
Chapter 17: Multithreading

Part IV: Appendices
Chapter 18: Appendix A. Using gdb
Chapter 19: Appendix B. Using Make
Chapter 20: Appendix C. System Calls
Chapter 21: Appendix D. Performance Tests Information
Chapter 22: Bibliography

Book Details

Title: Low-Level Programming: C, Assembly, and Program Execution on Intel® 64 Architecture
Author: Igor Zhirkov
Length: 435 pages
Edition: 1st ed.
Language: English
Publisher: Apress
Publication Date: 2017-07-30
ISBN-10: 1484224027
ISBN-13: 9781484224021