Friday, December 25, 2009

Assembly Language Part 8

Stack operations in Assembly

A stack is a one dimensional data structure. The elements of the stack is added and removed from one end. That is why it is also known as
Last-In-First-Out or LIFO system. That end of the stack is called TOP.

You can have the Idea by watching the stack of papers to the right. It is only possible to add or remove new paper holders from the TOP.

The add operation on a stack is called push and the remove operation on the stack is called pop.

As we mentioned earlier the operations are only done at the top.

Stack Operations Push and Pop

PUSH ( add element to top)
The push instruction adds a new element to the top. The syntax is

PUSH source  ; no destination defined because destination is always TOP

A few things to notice is that the PUSH operation works as follows
   1)  A copy of the source content is copied to the address specified by the TOP     

   2)  SP or TOP is decreased

                                             Push                          Pop

POP ( remove element to top)
The pop instruction removes the top element. The syntax is

POP destination  ; no source defined because source is always TOP

A few things to notice is that the PUSH operation works as follows
   1)  SP or TOP is increased    

   2) The content of the TOP is copied to the destination                                     

The PUSH and the POP instructions take 16 bit registers only. So
are both illegal

PUSHF ( a variation of PUSH)
There are no operand of PUSHF. It just copies the FLAGS register to the stack.

POPF ( a variation of POP)
There are no operand of POPF either , it does the reverse of PUSHF. Executing it restores the FLAGS register from the stack TOP.

Example ( Reversing a line of text )
The program shall take one character at a time and PUSH it to the stack until its a carriage return. When "Enter" is pressed the characters are POPed out and printed.



        MOV AH, 2
        MOV DL, ‘?’
        INT 21H


        MOV AH, 1
        INT 21H

        CMP AL, 0DH
        JE END_WHILE
        PUSH AX
        INC CX
        INT 21H


        MOV AH, 2
        MOV DL, 0DH
        INT 21H
        MOV DL, 0AH
        INT 21H

     POP DX
     INT  21H

      MOV  AH, 4CH
      INT 21H


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