Parallel Computing Platform and Axum

DIKU Talk by Niklas Gustafsson, software architect at Microsoft Corporation. 


Parallel Computing Platform

With Visual Studio 2010, Microsoft is shipping a broad set of technologies to support programmers in their quest of taking full advantage of the emerging parallel hardware. In this talk, I will present these technologies and give an overview of the kinds of algorithms targeted. Supporting both native-code development in C++ and managed-code development in C#, Visual Basic and F#, the new libraries and language features have a lot to offer the parallel programmer.


Programming parallel hardware is fraught with danger and is typically far less productive than serial programming, as developers find themselves spending energy not on the core algorithmic code paths, but rather fighting bugs related to data races, deadlocks, and scaling issues. Axum, an incubation effort within the Parallel Computing Platform group, a unit of Microsoft's Technical Computing Group, aims to address this problem by eliminating a whole class of issues, data races, through programming language innovation, while also addressing scaling issues and helping programmers reason more formally around lock-ups.


Niklas Gustafsson, software architect at Microsoft Corporation, works in the Parallel Computing Platform, a unit of the company's Technical Computing Group. He is responsible for technology related to the Microsoft's efforts to make programming the emerging dominant hardware architectures with several parallel processing units. Niklas is the architect of Microsoft's Concurrency Runtime, shipping with Visual Studio 2010, but has also been involved with projects such as Axum, which is an effort to provide safe parallelism through language innovation. Before joining Microsoft in 2002, Niklas was involved in several start-up ventures of varying success. He started his career at TeleSoft in San Diego, working on Ada compilers and runtime systems. He holds a Master of Science in Computer Engineering from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.

DIKU Talks is a series of colloquia on scientific topics related to computer science hosted by DIKU with the aim of presenting state-of-the-art as well as emerging science results to DIKU's staff as well as co-operation partners in industrial and research organisations.  The colloquia are open to all interessted parties and no prior registration is required unless specifically indicated.

Scientific host: Fritz Henglein (
Administrative host: Jette Møller (