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Low-Level Language, in computer science, a computerprogramming language that is machine-dependent and/or that offers few control instructions and data types. Each statement in a program written in a low-level language usually corresponds to one machine instruction. Assembly language is considered a low-level language.

Computer programs that can be run by a computer’s operating system are called executables. An executable program is a sequence of extremely simple instructions known as machine code. These instructions are specific to the individual computer’s CPU and associated hardware; for example, Intel Pentium and Power PC microprocessor chips each have different machine languages and require different sets of codes to perform the same task. Machine code instructions are few in number (roughly 20 to 200, depending on the computer and the CPU). Typical instructions are for copying data from a memory location or for adding the contents of two memory locations (usually registers in the CPU). Complex tasks require a sequence of these simple instructions. Machine code instructions are binary—that is, sequences of bits (0s and 1s). Because these sequences are long strings of 0s and 1s and are usually not easy to understand, computer instructions usually are not written in machine code. Instead, computer programmers write code in languages known as an assembly language or a high-level language.


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