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indirect addressing

indirect addressing A method of addressing in which the contents of the address specified in the instruction (which may itself be an effective address) are themselves an address to be used to provide the desired memory reference. Two memory references are thus needed to obtain the data.

One use of indirect addressing is to supply a way of circumventing short address field limitations since the first memory reference provides a full word of address size. Another use is as a pointer to a table. Since an operand is not available at the usual time in the fetch-execute cycle, completion of that cycle must be deferred until the operand is finally available. Indirect addressing is thus sometimes referred to as deferred addressing.

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