Modulo Function

Now that we have gone through the "rough ride", let us turn back to simple functions. In the following, we will write an ASM code using some conditional jumps to implement a modulus function which can be called from C.



#include "cdecl.h"
#include "stdio.h"

size_t PRE_CDECL asm_main( size_t, size_t ) POST_CDECL;

int main() {
    size_t a;
    size_t b;
    int result;
    a = 15;
    b = 5;
    result = asm_main(a, b);
    printf("%d\n", result);
    return 0;

ASM Code


segment .data
buffer: times 1 dd 0    ; define a 32-bit buffer

segment .text
global asm_main

modulo:         ; calcs eax mod ebx, returns eax
    mov edx, 0  ; clear higher 32-bits as edx:eax / ebx is calced
    div ebx     
    mov eax, edx ; the remainder was stored in edx     

    enter 0, 0
    push ebp
    mov ebp, esp    ; save the stack pointer on ebp

    mov eax, [ebp + 12]    ; move first argument to eax
    mov ebx, [ebp + 16]    ; move second argument to ebx

    call modulo                ; result is saved in eax now

    mov ecx, buffer        ; get buffer's address into the register
    mov [ecx], eax           ; save the modulo result into the buffer

    pop ebp

    mov eax, [buffer]        ; move the saved result back into eax

That might be the easiest way to implement a modulo function, however dividing is a rather costy and not really efficient thing to do. So we can recursivey substract multiple times b from a in modulo(a,b) until a is less than b instead. This implementation should be rather efficient than the previous one and also intuitivey easier to understand.

modulo:    ; EAX <- a, EBX <- b. a mod b -> EAX
        cmp     eax, ebx               ; if (a < b) -> return
        JL      return

        sub     eax, ebx               ; else: a = a-b
        cmp     eax, ebx               ; if (a >= b) -> minus
        JGE     minus
return:                                ; else: return

If you however only need to calculate modulo(a, 2), so checking of the entered value a is even (mod(a, 2) will result in 0 if so), you might consider using the following code instead:

modTwo_fast:    ; EAX <- a. a mod 2 -> EAX
        and     eax, [dword] 1

        and    eax, 1 ; only least bit needed
        shr     eax, 1 ; eax = 0, Carry = least bit
        JNC     .zero
        add     eax, 1 ; if least bit was set

NOTE: You might call that function isEven(a) and return 0 if a is odd, -1 else if even by simply adding DEC eax brefore ret.


$ gcc -m32 -c intprintdriver.c
$ nasm -f elf modulo.asm
$ gcc -m32 -o modulo intprintdriver.o modulo.o


$ ./modulo