Gigaflops is a unit of measurement used to measure the performance of a computer's floating point unit, commonly referred to as the FPU. One gigaflops is one billion (1,000,000,000) FLOPS, or floating point operations, per second.
The term "gigaflops" appears to be plural, since it ends in "s," but the word is actually singular since FLOPS is an acronym for "floating point operations per second." This is why gigaflops is sometimes written as "gigaFLOPS." Since gigaflops measures how many billions of floating point calculations a processor can perform each second, it serves as a good indicator of a processor's raw performance. However, since it does not measure integer calculations, gigaflops cannot be used as a comprehensive means of measuring a processor's overall performance.
Updated: January 22, 2009