Petaflops mean a thousand trillion Floating Point Operations per Second. It is an indicator of the theoretical computing power of the processor and measures how many floating point operations can be performed. Floating Point numbers are a way to represent large real numbers within finite precision limits of the computer. It is a performance term on which extremely powerful computers used for scientific purposes are measured just like common computers are measured in terms of MIPS (Integer Operations). So far, only a few super computers, starting with IBM’s ‘Roadrunner’ have achieved the Petaflop milestone in 2008 followed by a few other supercomputers.
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