Gigabits Per Second

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What Does Gigabits Per Second Mean?

Gigabits per second (Gbps), sometimes abbreviated Gb/s, is a data transfer rate equivalent to one billion bits, or simple binary units, per second. These extremely high-speed rates of data transfer are not currently common, but new research projects have pushed computing capability toward the Gbps range for some technologies.

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Techopedia Explains Gigabits Per Second

In order to understand gigabits per second compared to a more common measurement of kilobytes or megabytes per second, it’s necessary to understand that modern data rate measurements are often based on bytes, a unit that contains eight binary bits, rather than single bits. Data storage and data transfer capacities are commonly referenced in terms of bytes, kilobytes, megabytes, etc. To get rates in bits, users must convert measurements accordingly.

In 2010, Google announced a project to offer direct fiber-to-home solutions with speeds of up to one gigabit per second. As of 2012, this is still in development, and is many orders of magnitude faster than what is currently available for consumer use.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.