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This is a word of two parts.

'Giga' meaning a thousand million.

'flops' which is an abbreviation of 'floating point operations per second'. A floating point operation is a single maths calculation within a computer that uses decimal numbers.
e.g. 1.2 x 1.3 is a floating point operation.

Therefore, gigaflops means a thousand million floating point operations per second.

To show how much progress has been made, in 1976 a Cray 1 supercomputer, then the most powerful computer in the world, cost £6 million and was capable of only 0.13 gigaflops. Just 35 years later, a standard Intel CPU chip, that you can find within a modern personal computer, can do 42 Gigaflops for about £150. Four hundred times quicker than an early supercomputer!


Challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you

Click on this link: Gigaflops