Tech moves fast! Stay ahead of the curve with Techopedia!
Join nearly 200,000 subscribers who receive actionable tech insights from Techopedia.
A megaflop is a unit of measurment that's equal to one million floating-point operations per second. This measurement of computing speed is used for large modern computer operations such as parallel processing operations. The megaflop is based on flops, which represent specific numbers of floating-point operations or the calculations of real numbers.
A floating-point numbers are designed to accommodate the representation of extremely large numbers. Floating points use bases or scalars such as 2, 10 or 16 to represent numbers that would otherwise require many digits to record. The computation of these floating-point numbers are known within IT as flops.
Typically, experts use terms like megaflop to refer to the capacity of modern processors. By contrast, IT professionals would use another set of measurements for data storage. For example, the capacity to store 1,000 kilobytes of data would be called one megabyte of storage. Correspondingly, the capacity to calculate one million individual floating-point numbers (where one floating-point number would be the equivalent of one byte of data) would be called a megaflop. As both data storage and data transfer and calculation rates have skyrocketed due to numerous cutting-edge technologies, words like megabytes and megaflops have been replaced by larger scale terms like terabytes and teraflops, which provide references to much larger sets of data.