Terahertz is a unit of measurement sometimes used to measure computer clock speeds. One terahertz is equal to 1,000 gigahertz (GHz), or 1,000,000,000,000 hertz (Hz). Since the majority of personal computers operate between two and four gigahertz, most computer clock speeds are not measured in terahertz. Instead, terahertz is more often used to measure the total speed of computing clusters or supercomputers.

Like gigahertz, terahertz only measures frequency, or cycles per second. Since some processors require more cycles to process instructions than others, terahertz is not always an accurate measurement of overall computing power. Additional factors, such as RAM speed, bus speed, and processor cache, also effect a computer's performance. Therefore, other units of measurements, such as MIPS and FLOPS are typically used to measure the computing performance of supercomputers and other high-end computer systems.

Abbreviation: THz.

Updated October 12, 2010

Definitions by TechTerms.com

The definition of Terahertz on this page is an original TechTerms.com definition. If you would like to reference this page or cite this definition, you can use the green citation links above.

The goal of TechTerms.com is to explain computer terminology in a way that is easy to understand. We strive for simplicity and accuracy with every definition we publish. If you have feedback about the Terahertz definition or would like to suggest a new technical term, please contact us.

Want to learn more tech terms? Subscribe to the daily or weekly newsletter and get featured terms and quizzes delivered to your inbox.

Sign up for the free TechTerms Newsletter

How often would you like to receive an email?

You can unsubscribe or change your frequency setting at any time using the links available in each email.

Questions? Please contact us.