Assembly language, a reliable staple of low-level programming, has taken a backseat to the multitude of higher-level, easier-to-use languages that have emerged over the years. But it is making a comeback, thanks to IoT (the internet of things) and embedded computing.
This month’s Tiobe index, which gauges language popularity based on a formula examining internet searches, has assembly returning to its top 10 for the second time this year, with a 10th-place slotting. It also reached the top 10 in January.
IoT and its attendant proliferation of small devices is driving usage, Tiobe surmises. “Why would anyone write code at such a low level, being far less productive if compared to using any other programming language and being vulnerable to all kinds of programming mistakes?” asks a report accompanying the index. “The only reasonable explanation for this is that the number of very small devices that are only able to run assembly code is increasing. Even your toothbrush or coffee machine are running assembly code nowadays.” Assembly also offers unmatched performance, Tiobe said.
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