What is a petaflop?!

03.08.13 -

What is a petaflop?

A petaflop is a measure of a supercomputer's calculating speed—it refers to the completion of 1 quadrillion calculations per second. NCSA's Blue Waters supercomputer can provide a petaflop and more for a wide range of science and engineeering problems.

1 peta = 1 quadrillion

1 peta = 1 quadrillion = 1015 = 1,000,000,000,000,000

1 quadrillion kernels of wheat

42,000,000,000: 1 quadrillion kernels of wheat would bake up to 42 billion loaves of white bread.

1 quadrillion drops of water

20,000: 1 quadrillion drops of water would fill 20,000 Olympic-sized pools.

1 quadrillion watts

1,000: 1 quadrillion watts is equivalent to 1,000 simultaneous lightning strikes.

1 quadrillion kernels of corn

52,083,333: 1 quadrillion kernels of corn is 52,083,333 acres of corn—the amount of corn grown in Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

graphics key

Key: bread slice = 1 billion loaves; rectangle = 200 pools; lightning bolt = 10 lightning strikes

31 million years

Time it takes to perform 1 quadrillion calculations
1 person performing 1 calculation per second: 31 million years

1 year

Time it takes to perform 1 quadrillion calculations
Every person in the U.S. performing 1 calculation per second: 1 year

1.5 days

Time it takes to perform 1 quadrillion calculations
Every person on Earth performing 1 calculation per second: 1.5 days

1 second

Time it takes to perform 1 quadrillion calculations
Blue Waters supercomputer performing 1 calculation per second: 1 second