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Difference between Compiler and Interpreter

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  • Difficulty Level : Basic
  • Last Updated : 06 Jun, 2022

 1. Compiler: 
It is a translator which takes input i.e., High-Level Language, and produces an output of low-level language i.e. machine or assembly language. 

  • A compiler is more intelligent than an assembler it checks all kinds of limits, ranges, errors, etc.
  • But its program run time is more and occupies a larger part of memory. It has a slow speed because a compiler goes through the entire program and then translates the entire program into machine codes.
     

Figure – Compiler-Process 

2. Interpreter: 
An interpreter is a program that translates a programming language into a comprehensible language. –  

  • It translates only one statement of the program at a time.
  • Interpreters, more often than not are smaller than compilers. 

Figure – Interpreter-Process 

Let’s see the difference between Compiler and Interpreter: 

S.No.CompilerInterpreter
1.The compiler scans the whole program in one go.Translates the program one statement at a time.
2.As it scans the code in one go, the errors (if any) are shown at the end together.Considering it scans code one line at a time, errors are shown line by line.
3.The main advantage of compilers is its execution time.Due to interpreters being slow in executing the object code, it is preferred less.
4.It converts the source code into object code.It does not convert source code into object code instead it scans it line by line
5It does not require source code for later execution.It requires source code for later execution.
6Execution of the program takes place only after the whole program is compiled.Execution of the program happens after every line is checked or evaluated.
7The machine code is stored in the disk storage.Machine code is nowhere stored.
8Compilers more often take a large amount of time for analyzing the source code.In comparison, Interpreters take less time for analyzing the source code.
9.It is more efficient.It is less efficient.
10.CPU utilization is more.CPU utilization is less.
Eg.C, C++, C#, etc are programming languages that are compiler-based.Python, Ruby, Perl, SNOBOL, MATLAB, etc are programming languages that are interpreter-based.
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