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Assembly code is converted into executable machine code by a utility program, known as an assembler. The computational step when an assembler is processing a program is called 'assembly time'.

Because assembly depends on the machine code instructions, each assembly language is specific to a particular computer architecture. For example, the original Roller Coaster Tycool (a classic!) was coded in x86 assembly languge.

Further Reading

From The Transistor
Build an 8-bit Computer From Scratch
Write Your Own OS