Chapel (programming language)

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File:Cray Chapel Logo.png
Chapel logo
Paradigm Object-oriented
Partitioned global address space
Parallel programming
Designed by David Callahan, Hans Zima, Brad Chamberlain, John Plevyak
Developer Cray Inc.
First appeared 2009 (2009)
Stable release 1.11.0 / April 2, 2015; 7 years ago (2015-04-02)
Typing discipline static
Platform multiplatform
OS Mac OS, Linux, POSIX, Windows (with Cygwin)
License Apache 2
Filename extensions .chpl
Influenced by
C, Modula, Fortran, C++, Java, C#, CLU, Scala, ML, Perl, Matlab, HPF, ZPL, Cray MTATM /XMTTMextensions to C and Fortran.[1]

Chapel, the Cascade High Productivity Language, is a parallel programming language developed by Cray.[2] It is being developed as part of the Cray Cascade project, a participant in DARPA's High Productivity Computing Systems (HPCS) program, which had the goal of increasing supercomputer productivity by the year 2010. It is being developed as an open source project, under version 2 of the Apache license.[3]


Chapel aims to improve the programmability of parallel computers in general and the Cascade system in particular, by providing a higher level of expression than current programming languages do and by improving the separation between algorithmic expression and data structure implementation details.

The language designers aspire for Chapel to bridge the gap between current HPC programming practitioners, who they describe as Fortran, C or C++ users writing procedural code using technologies like OpenMP and MPI on one side, and newly graduating computer programmers who tend to prefer Java, Python or Matlab with only some of them having experience with C++ or C. Chapel should offer the productivity advances offered by the latter suite of languages while not alienating the users of the first.[1]


Chapel supports a multithreaded parallel programming model at a high level by supporting abstractions for data parallelism, task parallelism, and nested parallelism. It enables optimizations for the locality of data and computation in the program via abstractions for data distribution and data-driven placement of subcomputations. It allows for code reuse and generality through object-oriented concepts and generic programming features. For instance, Chapel allows for the declaration of locales.[4]

While Chapel borrows concepts from many preceding languages, its parallel concepts are most closely based on ideas from High Performance Fortran (HPF), ZPL, and the Cray MTA's extensions to Fortran and C.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Chamberlain, Bradford L. "A Brief Overview of Chape l" (PDF). Cray Inc. Retrieved 22 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Lightfoot, David E. (2006). Modular programming languages: 7th Joint Modular Languages Conference. p. 20. ISBN 3-540-40927-0.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Chapel license". Retrieved November 15, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Bongen Gu; Wikuan Yu; Yoonsik Kwak (June 28–30, 2011). "Communication and Computation Overlap through Task Synchronization in Multi-locale Chapel Environment". In James J. Park, Laurence T. Yang and Changhoon Lee (ed.). Future Information Technology, Part I: 6th International Conference. Loutraki, Greece: Springer-Verlag. pp. 285–292. ISBN 978-3-642-22332-7. Retrieved August 17, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


  • Chamberlain, Bradford L. (2011). "Chapel (Cray Inc. HPCS Language)". In Padua, David (ed.). Encyclopedia of Parallel Computing, Volume 4. Springer. ISBN 9780387097657.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Further reading

External links