The maspar is a SIMD parallel processing machine. Typical number of processing units is between 1024 and 16384.

The maspar has a single instruction controller that runs code on multiple processing elements. Each instruction can have a mask indicating if a particular processor should run an instruction or skip it. Processors are organized in a 2-D lattice, so that each instruction can work on data from its own local memory, or the memory of any of its 8 neighbors. (Some texts consider this to be a torus.) There is also a limited ability to get data through the router, but this is of course slower. The maspar system doesn't have an operating system of its own, so it relies on a front end computer such as a unix system.