ScaLAPACK is a library of high-performance linear algebra routines for distributed-memory message-passing MIMD computers and networks of workstations supporting PVM  and/or MPI [64, 110]. It is a continuation of the LAPACK  project, which designed and produced analogous software for workstations, vector supercomputers, and shared-memory parallel computers. Both libraries contain routines for solving systems of linear equations, least squares problems, and eigenvalue problems. The goals of both projects are efficiency (to run as fast as possible), scalability (as the problem size and number of processors grow), reliability (including error bounds), portability (across all important parallel machines), flexibility (so users can construct new routines from well-designed parts), and ease of use (by making the interface to LAPACK and ScaLAPACK look as similar as possible). Many of these goals, particularly portability, are aided by developing and promoting standards , especially for low-level communication and computation routines. We have been successful in attaining these goals, limiting most machine dependencies to two standard libraries called the BLAS, or Basic Linear Algebra Subprograms [57, 59, 74, 93], and BLACS, or Basic Linear Algebra Communication Subprograms [50, 54]. LAPACK will run on any machine where the BLAS are available, and ScaLAPACK will run on any machine where both the BLAS and the BLACS are available.
The library is currently written in Fortran 77 (with the exception of a few symmetric eigenproblem auxiliary routines written in C to exploit IEEE arithmetic) in a Single Program Multiple Data (SPMD) style using explicit message passing for interprocessor communication. The name ScaLAPACK is an acronym for Scalable Linear Algebra PACKage, or Scalable LAPACK.