MIPS Assembly/Pseudoinstructions

The MIPS instruction set is very small, so to do more complicated tasks we need to employ assembler macros called pseudoinstructions.

List of PseudoinstructionsEdit

The following is a list of the standard MIPS instructions that are implemented as pseudoinstructions:

  • abs
  • blt
  • bgt
  • ble
  • neg
  • negu
  • not
  • bge
  • li
  • la
  • move
  • sge
  • sgt
  • add


Branch PseudoinstructionsEdit

Branch if less than (blt)

The blt instruction compares 2 registers, treating them as signed integers, and takes a branch if one register is less than another.

blt $8, $9, label

translates to

slt $1, $8, $9
bne $1, $0, label

Other PseudoinstructionsEdit

Load Immediate (li)

The li pseudo instruction loads an immediate value into a register.

li $8, 0x3BF20

translates to

lui $at, 0x0003
ori $8, $at, 0xBF20


Absolute Value (abs)

The absolute value pseudo instruction loads the absolute value contained in one register into another register.

abs $1, $2

translates to

addu $1, $2, $0
bgez $2, 8 (offset=8 → skip 'sub' instruction)
sub $1, $0, $2

Move (move)

The move pseudo instruction moves the contents of one register into another register.

move $1, $2

translates to

add $1, $2, $0

Load Address (la)

la $a0,address

translates to

  lui $at, 4097 (0x1001 → upper 16 bits of $at).
  ori $a0,$at,disp 

where the immediate (“disp”) is the number of bytes between the first data location (always 0x 1001 0000) and the address of the first byte in the string.