go to previous page   go to home page   go to next page hear noise


The j (jump) instruction or the b (branch) instruction.

Passing Control with a Jump Instruction

subroutine called once

At right is a sketch of what you can do with the j instruction. (The same could be done with the b instruction.) If the main routine needs to start up ("to call") a subroutine sub it can jump to it with a j instruction. At the end of the subroutine, control can be returned with another j instruction.

The subroutine returns to a statement in main labeled ret. The subroutine is called at just one point in main and it returns to an address a few instructions after that point.

The subroutine is only used once in the main program because it always returns to the same location. (You could write some tricky code to overcome this limitation. But it is much better to follow a subroutine linkage convention such as is about to be discussed.)

A subroutine call is when a main routine (or other routine) passes control to a subroutine. The main routine is said to be the CALLER and the subroutine is said to be the CALLEE. A return from a subroutine is when a subroutine passes control back to its CALLER. When a CALLEE finishes execution it nearly always returns control to its CALLER.


Is it normal that a subroutine can be used in only one place in a program?