C# Language Accessing Array Elements Using a Pointer


Example

In C#, an array name and a pointer to a data type same as the array data, are not the same variable type. For example, int *p and int[] p, are not same type. You can increment the pointer variable p because it is not fixed in memory but an array address is fixed in memory, and you can't increment that.

Therefore, if you need to access an array data using a pointer variable, as we traditionally do in C, or C++, you need to fix the pointer using the fixed keyword.

The following example demonstrates this:

using System;
namespace UnsafeCodeApplication
{
   class TestPointer
   {
      public unsafe static void Main()
      {
         int[]  list = {10, 100, 200};
         fixed(int *ptr = list)
         
         /* let us have array address in pointer */
         for ( int i = 0; i < 3; i++)
         {
            Console.WriteLine("Address of list[{0}]={1}",i,(int)(ptr + i));
            Console.WriteLine("Value of list[{0}]={1}", i, *(ptr + i));
         }
         
         Console.ReadKey();
      }
   }
}

When the above code was compiled and executed, it produces the following result:

Address of list[0] = 31627168
Value of list[0] = 10
Address of list[1] = 31627172
Value of list[1] = 100
Address of list[2] = 31627176
Value of list[2] = 200