X10 - overview

X10 is an open-source programming language being developed at IBM Research in collaboration with academic partners. X10 provides a programming model that can address the architectural challenge of multiple cores, hardware accelerators, clusters, and supercomputers in a manner that provides scalable performance in a productive manner.

The X10 project began in 2004 as part of the IBM PERCS project (Productive Easy-to-use Reliable Computer Systems) in the DARPA program on High Productivity Computer Systems. Although the PERCS project concluded in 2012, the X10 project continues to pursue an active research agenda.

X10 is a class-based, strongly-typed, garbage-collected, object-oriented language. To support concurrency and distribution, X10 uses the Asynchronous Partitioned Global Address Space programming model (APGAS). This model introduces two key concepts -- places and asynchronous tasks -- and a few mechanisms for coordination. With these, APGAS can express both regular and irregular parallelism, message-passing-style and active-message-style computations, fork-join and bulk-synchronous parallelism. In contrast to hybrid models like MPI+OpenMP, the same constructs underpin both intra- and inter-place concurrency.

Both its modern, type-safe sequential core and simple programming model for concurrency and distribution contribute to making X10 a high-productivity language in the HPC and Big Data spaces. User productivity is further enhanced by providing tools such as an Eclipse-based IDE (X10DT). Implementations of X10 are available for a wide variety of hardware and software platforms ranging from laptops, to commodity clusters, to supercomputers.

The primary web presence for the X10 project can be found at http://x10-lang.org. The http://x10-lang.org website is the focal point of the X10 open source project and for the external X10 research and developer community.