Getting Started with Intel® Threading Building Blocks (Intel® TBB)

Published:09/06/2016   Last Updated:09/06/2016

Intel® Threading Building Blocks (Intel® TBB) is a runtime-based parallel programming model for C++ code that uses threads. It consists of a template-based runtime library to help you harness the latent performance of multicore processors. Use Intel TBB to write scalable applications that:

  • Specify logical parallel structure instead of threads
  • Emphasize data parallel programming
  • Take advantage of concurrent collections and parallel algorithms

Intel TBB is available as:


After installing Intel TBB, you need to set the environment variables, this may be done as part of  an edition-level command-line, or you can set just the Intel TBB environment variables

On Windows*, run  tbbvars.bat in <install_dir>\windows\tbb\bin.

On Linux* and Mac OS X*, run or  tbbvars.csh in <install_dir>/{linux|mac}/tbb/bin.

<install_dir> is the installation directory, by default, it is:

  • On Windows: <Program Files>\IntelSWTools\compilers_and_libraries_<version>
  • On Linux and Mac OS X*, for super-users: /opt/intel/compilers_and_libraries_<version>
                                         for ordinary users: $HOME/intel/compilers_and_libraries_<version>

Documentation and Resources

The following table lists the documentation and other resources to help you get started using  Intel® TBB.

Document Description


Brief tutorial that uses a simple example to demonstrate how to use Intel® Threading Building Blocks (Intel® TBB) from start to finish.


Developer Guide and Reference documentation for Intel® Threading Building Blocks

The Developer Guide section provides instructions on how to use the major features of the library in addition to a Design Patterns section that explains how to implement common parallel programming idioms using Intel® TBB.

The Developer Reference section provides detailed information on all the functions and interfaces provided by Intel® TBB. Includes information on the following topics:

  • Algorithms
  • Containers
  • Memory Allocation
  • Synchronization
  • Timing
  • Task Scheduling

Product and Performance Information


Intel's compilers may or may not optimize to the same degree for non-Intel microprocessors for optimizations that are not unique to Intel microprocessors. These optimizations include SSE2, SSE3, and SSSE3 instruction sets and other optimizations. Intel does not guarantee the availability, functionality, or effectiveness of any optimization on microprocessors not manufactured by Intel. Microprocessor-dependent optimizations in this product are intended for use with Intel microprocessors. Certain optimizations not specific to Intel microarchitecture are reserved for Intel microprocessors. Please refer to the applicable product User and Reference Guides for more information regarding the specific instruction sets covered by this notice.

Notice revision #20110804