High-performance computer systems, MSc

120 credits
Image 1 of 1
Decorative image

High-performance computers will become widespread in the coming years. With applications ranging from autonomous vehicles to data centres and the internet of things, the challenge for the industry is to design software and hardware that can keep up with the high demands for power and energy that will follow. Successfully developing and exploiting such systems and bringing them to market will be the key to the success of future computing.

If those challenges sound enticing, and you want to gain the cutting-edge skills, in-depth knowledge and methodologies required to face them, then this is the master’s programme for you.

High-performance computer systems master's programme​ at Chalmers

Today and in the future, high-performance computers will be everywhere in autonomous vehicles using machine learning, in data centres fuelling telecom, and in IoT infrastructures to analyse huge volumes of data. The challenge is to design software and hardware for them to meet demanding power and energy constraints. Being able to develop and exploit such systems and bring them to the market will be the key to the success of future use of computing.

In order to drive the development of the future's high-performance computer systems, whether for software or hardware development, it is necessary to have a holistic view. This view combines how algorithms specified in a high-level language can utilize given computational structures and how computational resources should be designed and managed to achieve the high demands on computational performance and energy utilization as required by the future digital society. This programme focuses on the hardware-software co-design aspects to develop domain-specific architectures considering current emerging applications such as artificial intelligence and deep learning.​

The main topic and fundamental idea behind the programme is how the needs of future industries in terms of high computational performance and energy efficiency can be met with systematic methods based on the latest research results in the field of computer systems engineering. 

This master's programme is for all students who would like to acquire in-depth knowledge, abilities, skills, and methodologies in the area of Computer engineering and in particular in the field of high-performance computer systems.

More specifically, it is for those students that aim at developing their knowledge, abilities, skills, and methodologies needed to:

  • Be able to lead and participate in software development as well as computer hardware for general and specific computer applications with high demands on computational performance and/or energy efficiency.
  • Be able to carry out development work in the technical forefront in national as well international environments in general and with expert knowledge in any of the following computer systems core subjects: computer architecture, parallel programming and sustainability/energy-efficiency.
  • Be able to advance in high-performance computer systems specialization topics such as parallel and reconfigurable architectures, real-time systems and computer graphics. 

Topics covered

The subjects of computer architecture, parallel programming and sustainability/energy-efficiency are fundamental areas in the High-performance computer systems master's programme. The courses included in the programme plan also cover topics such as parallel architectures, reconfigurable systems, computer graphics, and real-time systems. Overall, the courses in the programme also cover aspects of hardware-software co-design and the use of artificial intelligence or machine learning in the different areas and topics above mentioned.


The master's programme in High-performance computer systems has been designed to be relevant to a growing industrial and governmental ICT sector (e.g. the computer game industry, database systems and, more relevant, all applications for machine learning such as autonomous vehicles). The programme gives a unique opportunity to combine academic training with engineering work experience, as well as entrepreneurship skills.

You will be prepared to work within this roles after graduation:

  • Co-Founder, Chief Architect, and/or Product Owner for a product or startup company that brings a research idea into a product
  • Chief Technology Officer who takes responsibility for the company’s technological development plan and influences its competitiveness in the market
  • Systems Architect and Designer who builds HPC systems either as a new product or from available COTS
  • HPC Architect and Performance Engineer who builds HPC systems and evaluates the performance and tunes applications for such systems.
  • Systems Administrator who manages an HPC system as well as monitors and evaluates application performance
  • Project Manager responsible for driving specific projects by choosing technical directions and leading people
  • Software Engineer who develops hardware-aware optimized software for either Cloud Function as a Service (FaaS) software, libraries, or runtimes.


The faculty behind the programme has an established track record of academic, industrial and scientific accomplishments in the following research areas:

  • Computer architecture
  • Memory hierarchy and Memory compression
  • Parallel processing systems (multi- and many-core systems)
  • Runtime systems
  • Reconfigurable computing
  • Approximate computing

In addition, faculty members are involved in a variety of research projects related to the programme’s topics such as the European Processor Initiative (EPI).

As a student, you will be invited to take part in the research through seminars, thesis projects, and other individual and group projects. Past research collaborations including master's-level students have yielded many innovations and accompanying scientific publications. Moreover, many of these students have been accepted to PhD studies at Chalmers and other leading institutions worldwide.

Find out more about research in Computer science and engineering


How to apply - From application to admission

This is a step-by-step guide on how to apply for a Master's programme at Chalmers University of Technology.