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petaflop
Last modified: Thursday, March 24, 2005 

A petaflop is the ability of a computer to do one quadrillion floating point operations per second (FLOPS.)  Additionally, a petaflop can be measured as “one thousand teraflops”. A petaflop computer would require a massive number of computers working in parallel on the same problem. Applications might include real-time nuclear magnetic resonance imaging during surgery or even astrophysical simulation.

Today's fastest parallel computing operations are capable of teraflop speeds. The world's fastest supercomputer today, the climate-modeling Earth, has a top speed of 40 trillion operations a second. Scientists predict we will see a petaflop computer by the year 2010, while companies involved in supercomputing research and design claim it could be as early as 2006.

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Related Links

Earth Simulator 
The Earth Simulator (ES) is a project of Japanese agencies NASDA, JAERI and JAMSTEC to develop a 40 TFLOPS system for climate modeling.

related categories

Microprocessors

Performance

related terms

FLOPS

FPU

simulation

supercomputer


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