Load addresses to a register using LDR Rd, =label

The LDR Rd,= pseudo-instruction can load any 32-bit numeric value into a register. It also accepts PC-relative expressions such as labels, and labels with offsets.

The assembler converts an LDR R0, =label pseudo-instruction by:

Unlike the ADR and ADRL pseudo-instructions, you can use LDR with labels that are outside the current section. The assembler places a relocation directive in the object code when the source file is assembled. The relocation directive instructs the linker to resolve the address at link time. The address remains valid wherever the linker places the section containing the LDR and the literal pool.

Example 11 shows how this works.

The instructions listed in the comments are the ARM instructions generated by the assembler.

Example 11. Loading using LDR Rd, =label

        AREA    LDRlabel, CODE,READONLY
        ENTRY                              ; Mark first instruction to execute
start
        BL      func1                      ; Branch to first subroutine
        BL      func2                      ; Branch to second subroutine
stop
        MOV     r0, #0x18                  ; angel_SWIreason_ReportException
        LDR     r1, =0x20026               ; ADP_Stopped_ApplicationExit
        SVC     #0x123456                  ; ARM semihosting (formerly SWI)
func1
        LDR     r0, =start                 ; => LDR R0,[PC, #offset into
                                           ; Literal Pool 1]
        LDR     r1, =Darea + 12            ; => LDR R1,[PC, #offset into
                                           ; Literal Pool 1]
        LDR     r2, =Darea + 6000          ; => LDR R2, [PC, #offset into
                                           ; Literal Pool 1]
        BX      lr                         ; Return
        LTORG                              ; Literal Pool 1
func2
        LDR     r3, =Darea + 6000          ; => LDR r3, [PC, #offset into
                                           ; Literal Pool 1]
                                           ; (sharing with previous literal)
        ; LDR   r4, =Darea + 6004          ; If uncommented produces an error
                                           ; as Literal Pool 2 is out of range
        BX      lr                         ; Return
Darea   SPACE   8000                       ; Starting at the current location,
                                           ; clears a 8000 byte area of memory
                                           ; to zero
        END                                ; Literal Pool 2 is out of range of
                                           ; the LDR instructions above

Show/hideAn LDR Rd, =label example: string copying

Example 12 shows an ARM code routine that overwrites one string with another string. It uses the LDR pseudo-instruction to load the addresses of the two strings from a data section. The following are particularly significant:

DCB

The DCB directive defines one or more bytes of store. In addition to integer values, DCB accepts quoted strings. Each character of the string is placed in a consecutive byte.

LDR, STR

The LDR and STR instructions use post-indexed addressing to update their address registers. For example, the instruction:

LDRB    r2,[r1],#1

loads R2 with the contents of the address pointed to by R1 and then increments R1 by 1.

Example 12. String copy

        AREA    StrCopy, CODE, READONLY
        ENTRY                             ; Mark first instruction to execute
start
        LDR     r1, =srcstr               ; Pointer to first string
        LDR     r0, =dststr               ; Pointer to second string
        BL      strcopy                   ; Call subroutine to do copy
stop
        MOV     r0, #0x18                 ; angel_SWIreason_ReportException
        LDR     r1, =0x20026              ; ADP_Stopped_ApplicationExit
        SVC     #0x123456                 ; ARM semihosting (formerly SWI)
strcopy
        LDRB    r2, [r1],#1               ; Load byte and update address
        STRB    r2, [r0],#1               ; Store byte and update address
        CMP     r2, #0                    ; Check for zero terminator
        BNE     strcopy                   ; Keep going if not
        MOV     pc,lr                     ; Return
        AREA    Strings, DATA, READWRITE
srcstr  DCB     "First string - source",0
dststr  DCB     "Second string - destination",0
        END

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