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Gforth Manual

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5.23.4 386 Assembler

The 386 assembler included in Gforth was written by Bernd Paysan, it's available under GPL, and originally part of bigFORTH.

The 386 disassembler included in Gforth was written by Andrew McKewan and is in the public domain.

The disassembler displays code in prefix Intel syntax.

The assembler uses a postfix syntax with reversed parameters.

The assembler includes all instruction of the Athlon, i.e. 486 core instructions, Pentium and PPro extensions, floating point, MMX, 3Dnow!, but not ISSE. It's an integrated 16- and 32-bit assembler. Default is 32 bit, you can switch to 16 bit with .86 and back to 32 bit with .386.

There are several prefixes to switch between different operation sizes, .b for byte accesses, .w for word accesses, .d for double-word accesses. Addressing modes can be switched with .wa for 16 bit addresses, and .da for 32 bit addresses. You don't need a prefix for byte register names (AL et al).

For floating point operations, the prefixes are .fs (IEEE single), .fl (IEEE double), .fx (extended), .fw (word), .fd (double-word), and .fq (quad-word).

The MMX opcodes don't have size prefixes, they are spelled out like in the Intel assembler. Instead of move from and to memory, there are PLDQ/PLDD and PSTQ/PSTD.

The registers lack the 'e' prefix; even in 32 bit mode, eax is called ax. Immediate values are indicated by postfixing them with #, e.g., 3 #. Here are some examples of addressing modes:

3 #          \ immediate
1000 #)      \ absolute
ax           \ register
100 di d)    \ 100[edi]
4 bx cx di)  \ 4[ebx][ecx]
di ax *4 i)  \ [edi][eax*4]
20 ax *4 i#) \ 20[eax*4]

Some example of instructions are:

ax bx mov             \ move ebx,eax
3 # ax mov            \ mov eax,3
100 di ) ax mov       \ mov eax,100[edi]
4 bx cx di) ax mov    \ mov eax,4[ebx][ecx]
.w ax bx mov          \ mov bx,ax

The following forms are supported for binary instructions:

<reg> <reg> <inst>
<n> # <reg> <inst>
<mem> <reg> <inst>
<reg> <mem> <inst>

Immediate to memory is not supported. The shift/rotate syntax is:

<reg/mem> 1 # shl \ shortens to shift without immediate
<reg/mem> 4 # shl
<reg/mem> cl shl

Precede string instructions (movs etc.) with .b to get the byte version.

The control structure words IF UNTIL etc. must be preceded by one of these conditions: vs vc u< u>= 0= 0<> u<= u> 0< 0>= ps pc < >= <= >. (Note that most of these words shadow some Forth words when assembler is in front of forth in the search path, e.g., in code words). Currently the control structure words use one stack item, so you have to use roll instead of cs-roll to shuffle them (you can also use swap etc.).

Here is an example of a code word (assumes that the stack pointer is in esi and the TOS is in ebx):

code my+ ( n1 n2 -- n )
    4 si D) bx add
    4 # si add

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