Bytecode vs Binary Code: Difference and Comparison

Key Takeaways

  1. Bytecode is an intermediate, platform-independent code generated from source code, executed by a virtual machine.
  2. Binary code is a low-level, machine-specific representation of instructions that a computer’s processor can directly execute.
  3. Bytecode allows for easier cross-platform compatibility, while binary code offers faster execution due to its direct processor compatibility.
Bytecode vs Binary Code

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What is Bytecode?

Bytecode is an instruction code. It uses an interpreter and is converted into binary code, which any computer processor can access.

The bytecode removes the requirement to recompile the source code.

Byte code can also be called intermediate code or portable code (p-code). It is a highly refined set of instructions designed to be executed by a program interpreter.

Byte code-compressed numeric codes are constant hexadecimal and numeric addresses. It is considered an intermediate-level code.

Object-oriented programming (OOP) code called byte code is compiled to execute on a virtual machine (VM) rather than a CPU (CPU).

For instance, the Java programming language makes use of bytecode. Java programming is translated into bytecode and then into a CLASS file. The JVM, or Java Virtual Machine, then reads this CLASS file. In other words, byte code is a sort of code that a virtual machine, or VM, must interpret.

What is Binary Code?

A binary code is an alphabet or digit in a computer. It is a coding system that computers send, receive, and store. Binary code has only two numbers, 0 and 1. These 1s and 0s are how the computer receives and processes data.

Binary code is considered low-level code.

The machine code uses binary digits to create, send, and receive instructions.

Today, it represents minor amounts of data that flow through almost all complex software and hardware systems used to manage most data resources and assets.

Binary code is code compiled to run on a computer without any interpretation. Modern computers use binary codes for instructions and data.

binary code

Difference Between Bytecode and Binary Code

  1. Bytecode needs a virtual machine (VM) for interpretation, whereas binary code does not require a VM and is interpreted by the computer’s processor.
  2. Bytecode is called intermediate and portable code (p-code), while binary code is also called machine code.
  3. Byte code is an intermediate-level code, while binary code is a low-level code.
  4. Machines and computers understand binary code, whereas byte code must be converted by a virtual machine (VM).
  5. As binary code uses 0 and 1, its implementation becomes easy, while byte codes are a little more complex than binary codes.

Comparison Between Bytecode and Binary Code

Parameters of ComparisonBytecodeBinary Code
DefinitionObject-oriented programming (OOP) code called bytecode is compiled to execute on a virtual machine (VM) rather than a CPU (CPU).Binary code is the simplest data form represented by binary digits like 0 and 1.
Other termsThis term is called intermediate code or portable code(P-code).Binary code is also named machine code.
Need of a Virtual Machine or VM.Byte code needs a virtual machine, or VM, for interpretation. Binary code does not need a virtual machine (VM) for interpretation.
SpeedIt takes time because bytecode requires a virtual machine.Binary code is much faster than bytecode.
Level codeByte code is an intermediate-level code. Binary code is a type of low-level code.
ImplementationByte codes are a little more complex to implement than binary codes.As binary code uses 0 and 1, the implementation becomes easy.

Last Updated : 30 July, 2023

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