Petaflop

What Does Petaflop Mean?

A petaflop is one thousand trillion, or one quadrillion, operations per second, and represents an extremely fast computing speed for a single machine. “Flop” stands for floating-point operations per second.

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In terms of today’s practical computing speed, the petaflop can also be thought of as one million gigaflops, where the gigaflop represents 1 billion floating-point operations per second. While some new supercomputers have been known to achieve multiple petaflops, more commonly available machines have not yet reached this standard.

Techopedia Explains Petaflop

Floating-point operations use large real numbers in a way that is efficient for the computer. In floating-point notation, exponential designations help to express the large real number in a simple way. This enables a wider range of values than in fixed-point operations, where the real number is expressed as a simple integer.

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Margaret Rouse

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.