machine instruction


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial.
Related to machine instruction: machine language

machine instruction

[mə′shēn in‚strək·shən]
(computer science)
A set of digits, binary bits, or characters that a computer can recognize and act upon, and that, when interpreted or decoded, indicates the action to be performed and which operand is to be involved in the action.

machine instruction

A directive in the native binary language of the hardware platform it is running in. The anatomy of a machine instruction is an operation code (op code) followed by one or more operand nouns. The op code is the action, while the operands are the data locations in memory to be acted upon or the program location in memory to switch to. There are instructions to INPUT and OUTPUT data, to process data by CALCULATING, COMPARING and COPYING and to go to some other part of the program. There are also instructions that manipulate the CPU's registers, as well as to go to some other part of the program based on the results of the last COMPARE operation (high, low, equal).

The following examples are conceptual and represent what a machine instruction would do. They are not actual instructions. See machine language, assembly language, hardware platform and computer.

OP CODE        OPERANDS(verb)         (the nouns)

 add            amount to total

 compare        search-key to item-1

 if last compare
  was equal,
  go to         routine-A

 copy           from - to

 go to          routine-X
References in periodicals archive ?
A direct compiler translates either Java source code or bytecodes into machine instructions that are directly executable on the designated target processor (refer to Figure 2).
In theory, an integrated CAD/CAM system should allow an engineer to design a part on the computer using a design package and then transfer the design to an NC programming package which would automatically generate machine instructions. Unfortunately, this is still theory.
Whereas most computer languages require huge numbers of machine instructions, Ray sought to create a much smaller instruction set to mimic the size of the human genetic code.
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon honey 1 teaspoon salt 3 1/4 cups flour (I use bread flour when I have it, all-purpose flour when I don't.) 1 tablespoon powdered buttermilk 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast Place ingredients in bread machine according to your bread machine instructions. Set on French or Italian mode and let the machine bake it.
<p>What's involved is more than a simple translation of commands or machine instructions; compilers and interpreters have done that for years.
"He did it with washing machine instructions, or something.
CAD drawings can then be transformed into machine instructions.
The list is then scanned by an optimization phase, which looks for MIPS coding idioms and replaces them with abstract machine instructions that better reflect the idiom.