Difference Between Byte Code and Machine Code

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: August 26, 2022

       

Difference Between Byte Code and Machine Code Difference Between Byte Code and Machine Code

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Introduction

If you're an app developer, you've heard of byte and machine code. What exactly do these two phrases mean, though? And why should you care? In this article, we'll go over the differences between byte code and machine code, as well as what they mean to app developers in terms of their work and the overall software industry. By the end, you'll be able to distinguish byte code from machine code and know when it makes sense to use each one.

Byte Code vs. Machine Code

You've probably heard of byte and machine code if you're a programmer. But what's the dissimilarity between these two kinds of code? Machine code is human-readable, but it needs to be translated before the computer can execute it. On the other hand, bytecode is not human-readable and doesn't need to be solved before being conducted by the computer. However, because humans can't read bytecode, programmers usually have to use an IDE (integrated development environment) to write their programs.

One more thing that distinguishes bytecode from machine code is that bytecode takes up much less space than machine code does - this makes it easier for devices with limited storage capacity (such as phones) to run programs with small memory footprints.

Difference Between Byte Code And Machine Code in Tabular Form

Table: Byte Code vs. Machine Code
Parameters of
Comparison
Byte Code
Machine Code
Define
Byte code is a platform-independent set of instructions that a virtual machine or interpreter can execute
Machine code is a set of instructions that a computer can read and execute.
Level of code
The Intermediate-level code
The low-level code.
Specification
Less specific towards machine
More specific towards machine
Use
It require Interpreter to get executeda
The CPU directly executes machine code.

What is Byte Code?

The source code is translated into byte code when you compile a program. Byte code is a platform-independent set of instructions that a virtual machine or interpreter can execute. This means that byte code can run on any system with a compatible virtual machine or interpreter. For example, if you develop a Java program on Windows and someone else develops it on Linux, both programs will work as long as they use different versions of Java.

The function of Byte Code

When a computer program is written in a high-level language, it needs to be converted into machine code before it can be executed on a computer. This conversion is usually done by a compiler, which produces an executable file. However, some languages (such as Java) use an intermediate form called bytecode. Bytecode is similar to machine code, but it is designed to be executed by a virtual machine rather than by physical hardware.

Code-Level of Byte Code

Machine code is a series of low-level instructions that a computer can understand and execute. On the other hand, Byte code is a higher-level representation of those exact instructions. It's more comfortable for humans to read and write byte code, but it still needs to be translated into machine code before a computer can conduct it. Programs like Java crack byte code in order to convert it into machine code for use by your device.

Machine-Specific Feature of Byte Code

One of the main differences between byte code and machine code is that byte code is not detailed to any one kind of machine. This means that it can be run on any device that has a virtual machine or interpreter. Additionally, byte code is often more compact than machine code, making it faster to download and execute. Finally, byte code can be dynamically generated, giving it advantages over pre-compiled machine code.

Limitations of Byte Code

One of the limitations of byte code is that it can be executed only on a platform with an interpreter. This means that byte code cannot be directly executed on hardware. Another limitation is that byte code can be decompiled, meaning that it can be reverse-engineered to reveal the source code. This can be a security risk if the byte code contains sensitive information. Additionally, byte code can be larger than the equivalent machine code, impacting performance. Finally, because byte code is interpreted, it typically runs more slowly than machine code.

Instruction Type of Byte Code

Most programming languages are first converted into an intermediate language called bytecode. This bytecode is then run on a virtual machine or web browser. The primary benefit of this process is that the same bytecode can be run on any platform without recompilation. Bytecode is also more difficult to reverse engineer than machine code, making it more resistant to tampering and piracy.

CPU Comprehensible Byte Code

Some programming languages are compiled into byte code, a platform-independent code that can be run on any machine with a virtual machine (VM) installed. Other languages are compiled into machine code, which is specific to the type of CPU in the computer. Byte code and machine code have different advantages and disadvantages. The disadvantage of Byte Code is it needs a VM to work. The advantage is it runs faster than machine code because it doesn't need to be translated from one language to another before running on the processor. It also provides portability for your software applications by providing one universal application for all machines with VMs installed.

Generation and Implementation of Byte Code

In computer programming, bytecode is a type of intermediate language representing a program or script in a form that can be read and executed by a machine. Bytecode is typically generated by a compiler or interpreter from source code written in a high-level programming language. It is then converted into machine code, which can be run on any computer architecture with an appropriate processor.

What is Machine Code?

Machine code is a set of instructions that a computer can read and execute. In contrast, byte code is a set of instructions that can be read and executed by a machine, but not necessarily a computer.

The Function of Machine Code

Machine code is a sequence of instructions executed by a computer's central processing unit (CPU). These instructions are written in binary code, a system of zeros and ones that can be read and understood by computers. On the other hand, byte code is a type of machine code generated by a compiler or interpreter from source code. This byte code can be directed on any computer with a compatible interpreter or virtual machine.

Code-Level of Machine Code

Machine code is the lower level of programming language. It is the only language a computer can understand and is directly executed by the CPU. This means that machine code is swift and efficient. However, it is also challenging for humans to read and write.

Machine-Specific Feature of Machine Code

Machine code is a sequence of instructions designed to be run on a specific processor. This code is usually in binary form, comprising zeros and ones. By contrast, byte code is a set of instructions that can be run on any machine, as long as a program can interpret the code. This makes byte code more portable than machine code, but it also means that it can be slower to execute.

Limitations of Machine Code

  1. Programs written in machine code are complex for humans to read and understand.
  2. Writing and debugging programs in machine code can be challenging since there are no symbolic names for instructions or data values.
  3. Programs written in machine code are specific to a particular CPU type and cannot be run on a different kind of CPU without recompiling.
  4. Machine code is not portable across different operating systems.
  5. Machine code is challenging to optimize since the programmer must manually rewrite code sections for better performance.
  6. Most compilers will not accept programs written in machine code as input, so they must be entered into the computer using a hexadecimal editor or similar tool.

Instruction Type of Machine Code

In computer programming, machine code, consisting of binary digits, is a low-level programming language used to directly control a computer's central processing unit (CPU).

CPU Comprehensible of Machine Code

A CPU can directly execute machine code but can't directly execute bytecode. The Java Virtual Machine (JVM) is an example of a program that runs bytecode. When you compile a Java program, the compiler converts the source code into bytecode, which is stored in .class files. When you run a Java program, the JVM loads the bytecode from the .class file and executes it.

Generation and Implementation of Machine Code

Byte code represents instructions that a machine can execute, but it is not the actual machine code instructions themselves. On the other hand, machine code is the actual code that is executed by the machine.

Main Differences Between Byte Code and Machine Code in Points

  1. Byte code is a platform-independent code that a virtual machine or an interpreter can execute. Machine code, on the other hand, is native code that is specific to a particular type of processor and can be run directly on hardware.
  2. A compiler usually generates byte code from high-level source code. Machine code, on the other hand, is generally caused by an assembler from assembly language source code.
  3. Byte code instructions are typically much longer than machine code instructions because they must be interpreted at runtime. Machine code instructions are typically shorter because they are directly executed by hardware. 4. Compilers don't always compile byte code into machine code (e.g., Java). Instead, compilers sometimes generate byte code later translated into another computer language (e.g., C) before being compiled into machine code.
  4. Some languages provide two sets of instructions for two types of machines (e.g., ARM for mobile devices and x86 for PCs).
  5. The term byte in bytecode does not refer to its size; instead, it refers to its base-2 numbering system, which allows the use of bytes instead of words as memory addresses in computing systems with only word addressing capability, such as 8-bit computers from the 1970s. 7. Since the early 1980s, some processors have been explicitly designed to operate as one type of machine code, and their circuitry cannot be changed to execute any other kind of machine code. These include x86 and MIPS processors, among others.
  6. Machine code has also traditionally been used as a programming language by developers who needed complete control over microprocessor details while using low-level programming languages like Assembly Language or just directly writing in microcode without using any human readable form of instruction sets like assembly language or high-level programming languages like C++.

Conclusion

When it comes to code, there are two main types: byte code and machine code. Byte code is a type of code executed by a virtual machine, while machine code is a type of code executed by a physical device.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between memory code and machine code?

Machine code is a low-level programming language read and executed by a computer's processor. It is the native language of a machine and is usually specific to a particular type of processor. In contrast, byte code is a higher-level language that is typically not specific to any one kind of machine. Instead, it is designed to be portable across different types of devices.

Is byte code and binary code the same?

No, byte code and binary code are not the same. Byte code is a compiled code typically created by a compiler from source code written in a programming language like Java. This code can be run on any computer with a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) installed. On the other hand, machine code is directly executed by the computer's processor and doesn't need to be compiled first.

Can you program in machine code?

No, you cannot program in machine code. Machine code is the lowest programming language level and is made up of binary numbers representing instructions. The computer's processor executes these instructions. On the other hand, byte code is a type of compiled code that can be run on any machine with a virtual machine or bytecode interpreter.

What is meant by byte code?

In computing, byte code is a form of the instruction set that is read and executed by a software interpreter. The term byte code derives from the fact that this type of code typically consists of a string of bytes. Unlike machine code, which is directly executed by hardware, byte code must first be processed by an interpreter before it can be run. This extra abstraction layer can make byte code more portable than machine code since it is not tied to any specific hardware platform. However, it can also make byte code run more slowly than machine code since the interpreter must process each instruction before it can be executed.



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"Difference Between Byte Code and Machine Code." Diffzy.com, 2022. Thu. 08 Dec. 2022. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-byte-code-and-machine-code-964>.



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