> $A: Align Data Switch


 $A:  Align Data Switch

Switches between byte- and word-alignment of variables and typed constants.

   Syntax:        {$A+} or {$A-}
   Default:       {A+}
   Type:          Global
   Menu Command:  Options|Compiler|Align Data


Word alignment has no effect on the 8088 CPU.

On all 80x86 CPUs, word alignment means faster execution.

  - Word-sized items on even addresses are accessed in one memory cycle.
  - Words on odd addresses are accessed in two memory cycles.

The $A+ State

In the $A+ state, all variables and typed constants larger than 1 byte are aligned on a machine-word boundary (an even-numbered address).

If required, unused bytes are inserted between variables to achieve word alignment.

$A+ does not affect byte-sized variables, fields of record structures, or elements of arrays.

A field in a record will align on a word boundary only if the total size of all fields before it is even.

For every element of an array to align on a word boundary, the size of the elements must be even.

The $A- State

In the $A- state, no alignment measures are taken.

Variables and typed constants are simply placed at the next available address, regardless of their size.

NOTE: Regardless of the state of $A, each global var and const declaration section always starts at a word boundary.

The compiler always keeps the stack pointer (SP) word-aligned by allocating an extra unused byte in a procedure's stack frame if required.

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