1

Simple example:

Let's say I have a function that takes a fixed size array, finds the largest number in it, and returns another fixed size array in memory with the largest number as the last index:

function sortFixedArray(uint256[6] memory array) public pure returns 
         (uint256[6] memory sortedArray) {
    
    sortedArray = array; // duplicate parameter array in memory
    uint ceiling;
    uint last;
    uint highIndex;

    for (uint i = 0; i < 6;) {
        last = sortedArray[5];
       
        if (sortedArray[i] > 1 && sortedArray[i] > ceiling) {
            ceiling = sortedArray[i];
            highIndex = i;
        }
        unchecked { i++; }
    }
    sortedArray[5] = ceiling;
    if (highIndex < 5) {
        sortedArray[highIndex] = last;
    }
    sortedArray[5] = ceiling;
    ceiling = 0;

    return sortedArray;
}

As you can see, I am checking the index values of the array with a for loop and sortedArray[i]. But assembly doesn't recognize sortedArray[i], so how would I access each index's value?

1 Answer 1

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Since sortedArray is an object in memory you have to use mload to read the value.

In assembly a fixed-size array points at the first element of the array, so mload(sortedArray) will read the first element.

sortedArray[i] is i slots down in memory, where each slot is 32 bytes (0x20 in hex). So the memory position of this element is sortedArray + 32*i. In assembly:

mload(add(sortedArray, mul(0x20, i)))

This is the whole function using inline assembly:

    function sortFixedArrayAssembly(uint256[6] memory array) public pure returns (uint256[6] memory sortedArray) {
        sortedArray = array; // duplicate parameter array in memory
        assembly {
            let last := mload(add(sortedArray, mul(0x20, 5)))
            let highIndex := 0
            let ceiling := 0

            for { let i := 0 } lt(i, 6) { i := add(i, 1) } {
                let i_elem := mload(add(sortedArray, mul(0x20, i)))
                if and(gt(i_elem, 1), gt(i_elem, ceiling)) {
                    ceiling := i_elem
                    highIndex := i
                }
            }

            mstore(add(sortedArray, mul(0x20, 5)), ceiling)
            if lt(highIndex, 5) {
                mstore(add(sortedArray, mul(0x20, highIndex)), last)
            }
        }
        return sortedArray;
    }
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  • 1
    You're a wizard! This works, thank you. Learned a lot and now I can apply this to so many things.
    – EKN
    Commented Dec 12, 2022 at 18:29

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