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Question: What is the difference between far and near?

Answer: Some compilers for PC compatibles use two types of pointers.
near pointers are 16 bits long and can address a 64KB range. far pointers are 32 bits long and can address a 1MB range.

Near pointers operate within a 64KB segment. There?s one segment for function addresses and one segment for data. far pointers have a 16-bit base (the segment address) and a 16-bit offset. The base is multiplied by 16, so a far pointer is effectively 20 bits long. Before you compile your code, you must tell the compiler which memory model to use. If you use a smallcode memory model, near pointers are used by default for function addresses.

That means that all the functions need to fit in one 64KB segment. With a large-code model, the default is to use far function addresses. You?ll get near pointers with a small data model, and far pointers with a large data model. These are just the defaults; you can declare variables and functions as explicitly near or far.

far pointers are a little slower. Whenever one is used, the code or data segment register needs to be swapped out. far pointers also have odd semantics for arithmetic and comparison. For example, the two far pointers in the preceding example point to the same address, but they would compare as different! If your program fits in a small-data, small-code memory model, your life will be easier.



Category Pointers in C Interview Questions & Answers - Exam Mode / Learning Mode
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Question: What is the difference between far and near?
Answer:

Some compilers for PC compatibles use two types of pointers.
near pointers are 16 bits long and can address a 64KB range. far pointers are 32 bits long and can address a 1MB range.

Near pointers operate within a 64KB segment. There?s one segment for function addresses and one segment for data. far pointers have a 16-bit base (the segment address) and a 16-bit offset. The base is multiplied by 16, so a far pointer is effectively 20 bits long. Before you compile your code, you must tell the compiler which memory model to use. If you use a smallcode memory model, near pointers are used by default for function addresses.

That means that all the functions need to fit in one 64KB segment. With a large-code model, the default is to use far function addresses. You?ll get near pointers with a small data model, and far pointers with a large data model. These are just the defaults; you can declare variables and functions as explicitly near or far.

far pointers are a little slower. Whenever one is used, the code or data segment register needs to be swapped out. far pointers also have odd semantics for arithmetic and comparison. For example, the two far pointers in the preceding example point to the same address, but they would compare as different! If your program fits in a small-data, small-code memory model, your life will be easier. Source: CoolInterview.com


The pointer which can point or access whole the residence memory of RAM i.e. which can access all 16 segments is known as far pointer.The size of far pointer is 4 bytes.

The pointer which can points only 64KB data segment or segment number 8 is known as near pointer.The size of near pointer is 2 bytes Source: CoolInterview.com

Answered by: Rhea | Date: 4/1/2010 | Contact Rhea Contact Rhea


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