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What Does Branch Mean?

A branch in a computer program is an instruction that tells a computer to begin executing different instructions rather than simply executing the instructions in order. In high-level languages, these are typically referred to as flow control procedures and are built into the language. In assembly programming, branch instructions are built into a CPU.


Techopedia Explains Branch

Branching is a basic concept in computer science. It means an instruction that tells a computer to begin executing a different part of a program rather than executing statements one-by-one.

Branching is implemented as a series of control flow statements in high-level programming languages. These can include:

  • If statements
  • For loops
  • While loops
  • Goto statements

Branching instructions are also implemented at the CPU level, though they are much less sophisticated than the kinds of instructions found in high-level languages. These instructions are accessed through assembly programming and are also referred to as “jump” instructions.


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