Design of a general purpose assembler



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With the constantly increasing number of computer systems available today, cross assemblers are being used more frequently to enable programmers to assemble programs for one (target) computer on another (host) computer, often using a large scale host machine, thereby taking advantage of large main memory size, high speed peripheral devices, and timesharing environments which may not be available on the target computers. In the past separate cross assemblers have been written for each different target computer. This paper proposes a design for a single processor — a general purpose assembler — which is capable of assembling programs for many different computers. Such a general purpose assembler could represent a significant cost reduction over the present method of producing a different cross assembler for each different target computer.