What is Compilers?

April 26, 2023 - (Free)

A program that converts source code into machine code is known as a Compiler. Then, using this program, machine code that can be utilized to execute the program is generated. The source code produced in a variety of programming languages, such as C, C++, and Java, can be translated using a compiler.

A compiler’s primary goal is to make sure that the program is simple to understand and that the source code is well-formed. Additionally, a compiler aids in ensuring that the machine code produced is accurate and tailored to the hardware being utilized. There are numerous uses for a compiler, including error detection and optimization. For instance, a compiler can be used to find flaws in the source code and to improve the speed or effectiveness of the machine code that is produced.


Types of Compiler:

Compilers can be divided into a number of Groups:

1. Cross Compiler: 

Cross compiler technology enables programmers to compile and run their code across several platforms. When developing various versions of your code and checking that all the platforms you are targeting are supported, this can be helpful. It is also helpful if you are developing for a new platform and want to make sure your code runs on it.

2. Just-In-Time (JIT) Compiler:

A compiler called a just-in-time compiler (JIT) is made to compile programs as they are run. As a result, the compiler is far quicker than a conventional compiler, which must recompile the program each time it is used. The fundamental benefit of a JIT compiler is that you can shrink the size of your program by getting rid of extraneous code. This implies that your program will be more streamlined and effective. The JIT compiler’s ability to optimize your program for several platforms is another benefit. For instance, you can use a JIT compiler to optimize the code for various devices if you are creating a mobile app. Additional advantages of the JIT compiler include less memory utilization, enhanced performance, and higher dependability.

3. Source-to-Source Compiler:

A software program known as a source-to-source compiler converts source code into executable code. For translating source code written in several programming languages, the tool is helpful. A compiler typically handles the translation process by converting source code into a particular kind of machine code. The target machine then runs the resulting machine code. Both manual and machine translation methods are available. It is possible to translate source code produced in a variety of programming languages, including C++, Java, and C#, using the software tool.

4. Hardware Compilers:

Software tools called hardware compilers translate source code into machine code. They are used to convert source code into machine code, which a computer subsequently executes. They are utilized in a wide range of software, such as operating systems, embedded devices, and computer games. Assemblers are the most used kind of hardware compiler. It changes source code into machine code so that the computer can execute it. Programs written in low-level languages, like assembly language, are assembled using the assembler, which is typically written in a high-level language (like C or C++). The loader and linker are two further categories of hardware compilers that convert machine code into source code and source code into machine code, respectively. Programs can be linked together using dynamic linkers, which are produced by the linker and the loader. Source code is frequently converted into machine code using hardware compilers. The term compilation refers to this translating procedure. The process of compilation turns source code into machine code, which the computer can subsequently execute. The compiler is used to compile programs written in low-level languages, such assembly language, and is typically written in a high-level language (like C or C++).

5. Bytecode Compilers:

A software program called a bytecode compiler converts high-level languages like Java into machine code. After that, the generated code is compiled into machine code that can be run on the target machine. Bytecode compilers’ key benefit is that it enables programmers to write code in a high-level language and then translate it into machine code. This makes it possible for programmers to create shorter, simpler code. Bytecode compilers’ main drawback is that they must be created in a high-level language. They are therefore unsuitable for writing low-level programming. The most popular use of bytecode compilers is for creating mobile applications.

6. Binary Compiler:

A software program known as a binary compiler converts source code files into binary format. The binary format is used to store program information in a condensed form that a computer can read and understand with ease. Machine code, assembly code, and machine language are other names for the binary format. It is a form of low-level programming that manages the hardware and software of the computer. The use of binary compilers is widespread and includes network programming, database management, and web development.

How Does a Compiler Work?

how compiler work

Despite their variations, compilers use several methods to translate code to output. Usually, they take the following actions:

  • Tokenizing the code in order to make it syntactical and semantic is a technique known as lexical analysis.
  • The compiler creates abstract syntax trees during syntax analysis that show the logical architectures of certain code parts. Syntax trees are what these trees are called.
  • A semantic analysis is necessary to confirm the semantic accuracy of code logic. To make sure that variables have been assigned the appropriate types or have the proper definitions, for instance, the type or definition of a variable may be checked.
  • The IR code is the intermediate code produced after the code has gone through all three analysis steps. Using the IR code rather than a new code makes it simpler to transform the code into a different format. However, it must be true in every respect, including any functionality that is left out.
  • On compiler-optimized IR code, optimization is done to reduce processor time before the final code creation. There are degree-of-optimization parameters available in some compilers.
  • The compiler generates code using the optimized IR code.

Applications of Compiler:

  • Compiler design aids in the full implementation of high-level programming languages.
  • Support optimization to enhance parallel computer architecture.
  • creating new machine memory hierarchies.
  • Programs have been translated using it.
  • The Software must be used in conjunction with other software productivity tools.

How Compiler Differ From Interpreter?

difference between compiler and interpreter

  1. A program compiler immediately looks for programming faults. The program is terminated when an error is found. An interpreter examines every line of code separately.
  2. An interpreter or a compiler converts a high-level program statement into machine code. In contrast, a compiler transforms the code before the program is run, and an interpreter translates the high-level program into machine code.
  3. Instead of interpreting languages, compilers translate programming languages into machine code while the program is executed. However, as the program runs, interpreters independently translate each statement into machine code.
  4. Compiler-generated code executes more quickly than interpreter-generated code.
  5. The interpreter is based on the interpretation approach, whereas the compiler is based on the translation linking-loading process.


A program that converts source code into machine code is known as a compiler. A compiler can be used to convert source code into a more understandable and efficient format. A compiler is most frequently used to convert source code written in a programming language, such as C or Java, into machine code that the computer’s processor can understand. Bytecode, the machine code that the computer uses to interpret the source code, is also created when the compiler turns source code into machine code. By deleting pointless or superfluous instructions, compilers can also be used to optimize the source code.