Having known about the byte oriented file register operation, only two categories are remaining – the bit oriented file register operations and the control operations.

Bit-oriented file register operations:

Here these instructions are used when a single bit needs to be affected/changed/checked. There are only four bit-oriented instruction for the 16F84A

Mnemonics & Operands Description
BCF f,b Bit clear f (b represents the bit to be cleared in the specified register)
BSF f,b Bit set f
BTFSC f,b Bit test f, skip (the next line) if clear
BTFSS f,b Bit test f skip (the next line) if set

The instructions used above are already explained in previous posts about PIC16F84A.

Literal and Control operations:

These instruction are meant for manipulating the W-register values and also, control the working of the microcontroller. Here only W-register is involved and hence only one operand is needed – the 8 bit data.


Mnemonics & Operands Description
ADDLW x Add the eight bit literal value(x) and the contents of W-register
ANDLW x Logical AND the literal value(x) and the contents of the W-register
CALL x Call a subroutine such as a delay routine. Here x signifies the label of the subroutine
CLRWDT Clears the watchdog timer. This is a control instruction and hence no operand is used
GOTO x Goto the specified address or label denoted by x
IORLW x Inclusive OR 8-bit literal value(x) with the contents of W-register
MOVLW x Move the 8-bit literal value(x) to the W-register
RETFIE Return from interrupt. Usually used at the end of a interrupt routine
RETLW x Return with literal value(x) in the W-register. This instruction returns from a subroutine and also moves the literal value to the W-register
RETURN Returns from a subroutine
SLEEP Goes into standby mode
SUBLW x Subtract the contents of W-register from the literal value(x)
XORLW x Exclusive OR literal value(x) with contents of W-register

Thats all about the 35 instructions which can be used in the PIC16F84A assembly programming. However, these instructions are used only if assembly programming is preferred. You won’t use even a single instruction from this list when embedded C programming is preferred. Even though embedded C programming is widely used, assembly language remains popular for small applications and among hobbyists for the following reason – Memory efficient coding.

Assembly-a memory efficient language:

Memory is a major constrain in microcontrollers since, memory is integrated into the controller, (This is not the case with the microprocessor, since, you can interface a maximum amount of memory – large enough which can be handled by its address bus) mostly few KBs of memory are integrated. For example, the PIC16F84A has only 64 bytes of data EEPROM memory. An assembled program takes a very low space when compared to the same program compiled in C language. This is the major reason, why assembly language is still popular for small applications. The reason, why assembly is not used for large applications is not the fact that we cannot write code for large applications, but in assembly as program size grows, complexity grows and hence it becomes difficult to troubleshoot(debug) the program. But for DIY projects and small hobby projects, the code won’t attract much complexity and hence assembly can be adopted which provides a efficient code and better control over the controller 😉



  1. Barry Bousfield

    Could you please help me with the code/s which will set the internal Osc. to 4MHz for a PIC16F628.

    I used the following for a external Crystal for 4MHz.

    Device = 16F628
    Xtal = 4
    All_Digital = True

    Dim D As Word

    Int: TRISB = %00000000
    PORTB = 0
    D = 150

    Main: High PORTB.0
    DelayMS D
    Low PORTB.0
    GoTo Main

    Now I would like to use the internal Osc. to do the same as the external Osc.

    Thanks very much