As far as I know, this is the standard way of the memory allocation in assembly:

assembly {
    let firstFreeMemoryPointer := mload(0x40)
    mstore(0x40, add(firstFreeMemoryPointer, numberOfBytesToAllocate)

But I've recently noticed the following example code in the Yul docs:

function allocate(size) -> ptr {
    ptr := mload(0x40)
    if iszero(ptr) { ptr := 0x60 }
    mstore(0x40, add(ptr, size))

Does anyone know if this step with checking ptr for zero value (if iszero(ptr) { ptr := 0x60 }) is required and when can this pointer actually be zero? :)

  • Yul is a low level language, if the contract was in solidity the free memory pointer should be initialized properly before entering the function.
    – Ismael
    Aug 10, 2022 at 4:53
  • I know, but I actually need to allocate memory directly in Yul Aug 10, 2022 at 11:12

1 Answer 1


Their code wants probably to keep the first two slots as scratch space, so they start the free memory at 0x60.

ptr := mload(0x40) is 0 the first time allocate is called. So without this line

if iszero(ptr) { ptr := 0x60 }

the code will write an object from the very first slot, overwriting the scratch space (and the free memory slot 0x40).

So this line is required only if you're writing a pure Yul object and not inline-assembly, because, as Ismael said, solidity already moves the free memory pointer before any other logic.

Note that to make this code Solidity-friendly, 0x60 should be 0x80. Check these commits:



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