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assembly - Multiplying 32 bit two numbers on 8086 microprocessor

I have code example for multiplying two 16 bit numbers on 8086 and trying to update it for two 32 bit numbers multiplying.

start:
 MOV AX,0002h ; 16 bit multiplicand
 MOV BX,0008h ; 16 bit multiplier
 MOV DX,0000h ; high 16 bits of multiplication
 MOV CX,0000h ; low 16 bits of multiplication
 MOV SI,10h ; loop for 16 times

LOOP:
 MOV DI,AX
 AND DI,01h
 XOR DI,01h
 JZ ADD
CONT:
 RCR DX,1
 RCR CX,1
 SHR AX,1
 DEC SI
 CMP SI,0
 JNZ LOOP
 JMP END ; ignore here, it's not about multiplication. 
ADD:
 ADD DX,BX
 JMP CONT

Code statements above multiply two 16 bit numbers.

To update it for 32 bit two numbers, I know I need updates like:

  1. Change AX to 00000002h and BX to 00000008h.
  2. Use two more registers (I don't know which registers I should use) to hold second and third 16 bits of multiplication (because multiplication will be 64 bit. 16 bit for 4 times. I currently have DX and CX.)
  3. Update loop number to 20h(SI in that case) (that makes 32 times for 32 bit number)

8086 is 16-bit microprocessor so its registers are. I can't assign registers 32-bit-long numbers.

8086's registers:

REG: AX, BX, CX, DX, AH, AL, BL, BH, CH, CL, DH, DL, DI, SI, BP, SP.
SREG: DS, ES, SS, and only as second operand: CS.

Source: http://www.electronics.dit.ie/staff/tscarff/8086_instruction_set/8086_instruction_set.html

My questions are:

  1. How can I handle two different registers for one 32-bit number. (registers are 16-bit, so I have to split the number into two registers)
  2. What registers can I use for that purpose? Am I free to use any register arbitrarily?

Thanks in advance.

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1 Answer

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Give a man a fish and blah-blah-blah…

It’s good, that you have a code example. But do you understand the algorithm?

Okay, let’s go through it step by step on a simplified example: multiplying two 8-bit registers in AL and AH, and storing the result in DX.

BTW, you can use any registers you like unless this or that instruction requires any particular register. Like, for example, SHL reg, CL.

But before we actually start, there’re a couple of optimizations for the algorithm you provided. Assembly is all about optimization, you know. Either for speed or for size. Otherwize you do bloatware in C# or smth. else.

MOV DI,AX
AND DI,01h
XOR DI,01h
JZ ADD

What this part does is simply checks if the first bit (bit #0) in AX is set or not. You could simply do

TEST AX, 1
JNZ ADD

But you only need to test one bit, thus TEST AL, 1 instead of TEST AX, 1 saves you one byte.

Next,

RCR DX,1

There’s no need in rotation, so it could simply be SHR DX, 1. But both instructions take the same time to execute and both two bytes long, thus doesn’t matter in this example.

Next,

DEC SI
CMP SI,0
JNZ LOOP

Never ever compare with zero after DEC. It’s moveton! Simply do

DEC SI
JNZ LOOP

Next, Unnecessary loop split

JZ ADD
CONT:
. . .
JMP END
ADD:
ADD DX, BX
JMP CONT
END:
. . .

Should be

JNZ CONT
ADD DX, BX
CONT:
. . .
END:
. . .

Here we go with a bit optimized routine you have:

LOOP:
 TEST AL, 1
 JZ SHORT CONT
 ADD DX, BX
CONT:
 RCR DX, 1
 RCR CX, 1
 SHR AX, 1
 DEC SI
 JNZ LOOP
END:

That’s it. Now back (or forward?) to what this little piece of code actually does. The following code sample fully mimics your example, but for 8-bit registers.

 MOV AL,12h   ; 8 bit multiplicand
 MOV AH,34h   ; 8 bit multiplier
 XOR DX, DX   ; result
 MOV CX, 8    ; loop for 8 times

LOOP:
 TEST AL, 1
 JZ SHORT CONT
 ADD DH, AH
CONT:
 SHR DX, 1
 SHR AL, 1
 DEC CX
 JNZ LOOP
END:

This is a Long Multiplication algorithm

 12h = 00010010
               x
 34h = 01110100
       --------
       00000000
      01110100
     00000000
    00000000
   01110100
  00000000
 00000000
00000000

Add shifted 34h two times:

0000000011101000
+
0000011101000000
----------------
0000011110101000 = 03A8

That’s it! Now to use more digits you use the same approach. Below is the implementation in fasm syntax. Result is stored in DX:CX:BX:AX

Num1    dd 0x12345678
Num2    dd 0x9abcdef0

 mov si, word [Num1]
 mov di, word [Num1 + 2]
 xor ax, ax
 xor bx, bx
 xor cx, cx
 xor dx, dx
 mov bp, 32

_loop:
 test si, 1
 jz short _cont
 add cx, word [Num2]
 adc dx, word [Num2 + 2]
_cont:
 rcr dx, 1
 rcr cx, 1
 rcr bx, 1
 rcr ax, 1
 rcr di, 1
 rcr si, 1
 dec bp
 jnz short _loop

Cheers ;)


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