The main difference between machine code and bytecode is that the machine code is a set of instructions in machine language or in binary that can be directly executed by the CPU whereas bytecode is an intermediate code generated when compiling. a source code that can be executed by a virtual machine.
A computer program is a collection of instructions that perform a specific task. Special software, such as compilers or interpreters, transforms the program into machine-readable machine code. On the other hand, bytecode is not native machine code; It is a portable code. Also, software such as a virtual machine can run it directly.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is machine code?
– Definition, Functionality
2. What is Bytecode?
– Definition, Functionality
3. What is the relationship between machine code and byte code?
– Association scheme
4. What is the difference between machine code and byte code?
– Comparison of key differences
Bytecode, compiler, interpreter, machine code
What is machine code?
Machine code is a set of instructions in machine language. The CPU can execute it directly. A programmer can write a computer program using a high-level programming language like C, C++, Java, etc. These languages have syntax similar to the English language and are easier for the programmer to read and understand. However, these programs are not understandable by a computer. Thus, the program or source code is converted into machine understandable machine code. A compiler or an interpreter performs this conversion.
Figure 1: Machine code
A compiler converts all source code into equivalent machine code at once. An interpreter converts the source code line by line into the equivalent machine code. Therefore, a compiler-based language is faster than an interpreter-based language. Finally, the CPU can directly execute machine code to perform the task defined in the program.
What is Bytecode
Bytecode is created after the source code is compiled. It is an intermediate code. The bytecode is executable by a virtual machine. Also, the virtual machine converts the byte code into machine code.
Figure 2: Java Bytecode
Java programs mainly use byte codes. When compiling a Java source code, the Java compiler converts that source code to bytecode. Also, this bytecode is executable by the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). The JVM converts byte code to machine code. Any computer with a JVM can run that bytecode. In other words, any platform consisting of a JVM can execute Java Bytecode.
Relationship between Machine Code and Bytecode
- A virtual machine converts byte code to machine code.
Difference Between Machine Code and Byte Code
Machine code is a programming language consisting of binary instructions that a computer can respond to directly. In contrast, bytecode is a form of instruction set designed for efficient execution by software such as a virtual machine. Thus, this explains the fundamental difference between them.
Also, the main difference between machine code and byte code is that the machine code can be directly executed by the processor or the CPU. On the other hand, after the source code is compiled, the bytecode is created. The virtual machine can run it.
Another difference between machine code and byte code is that machine code is a low-level code while byte code is an intermediate code.
In short, the processor or the CPU can directly execute the machine code. However, the bytecode is created after the source code is compiled and can be executed by the virtual machine. Thus, this is the main difference between them.
1. “Machine code.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, September 24, 2018, Available here.
2. “Byte code”. Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, September 26, 2018, Available here.
1. “155685” (CC0) via Pixabay
2. “Bytecode Java” By Julio Hernán Córdoba – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikipedia