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Parallel Computer Architecture

Master’s level
7,5 credits (ECTS)
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Full education cost: 17 875 SEK
First payment: 17 875 SEK

No fees are charged for EU and EEA citizens, Swedish residence permit holders and exchange students.

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From 1975 to 2005, the computer industry accomplished a phenomenal mission: in 30 years, we put a personal computer on every desk and in every pocket. In 2005, however, mainstream computing hit a wall, and the industry undertook a new mission: to put a personal parallel supercomputer on every desk, in every home, and in every pocket. In 2011, we completed the transition to parallel computing in all mainstream form factors, with the arrival of multicore tablets and smartphones.

Power and temperature have joined performance as first-class design goals. High-performance computing platforms now strive for the highest performance/watt. This course looks at the design of current multicore systems with an eye towards how those designs are likely to evolve over the next decade.

The content is divided into several parts:

  •  a review of fundamental concepts in computer architecture
  • basic multiprocessor designs for the message passing and shared memory programming models    
  • interconnection networks, an essential component in chip multiprocessors and scalable parallel computer systems   
  • how to correctly support parallel algorithms in shared memory hardware    
  • last years' recent transition towards chip multiprocessors (also known as "multicores")

Prerequisites and selection


To be eligible to the course, the student should have successfully completed 90 credits of studies in computer science or equivalent. Specifically, the course DIT051 Computer Architecture, 7.5 credits, is required, or equivalent. Applicants must prove knowledge of English: English 6/English B or the equivalent level of an internationally recognized test, for example TOEFL, IELTS.


Selection is based upon the number of credits from previous university studies, maximum 225 credits.

For admission to the summer 2021 and onward the following selection applies: selection is based upon the number of credits from previous university studies, maximum 165 credits.