Sunday, July 7, 2013

How Slow Can You Go?

Processing Speed
Normally we think about processors in terms of how fast they can process. What about thinking about how slow they go? We've all heard of TERA-FLOPS and PETA-FLOPS but what about speeds at a few hundreds or tens of operations per second, to sometimes more effectively match real world conditions of non-theoretical computation...

In the Lab, our supercomputers go into the range of Tera speed but not Peta. Many apps run at slower speeds. How do we define speeds slower than Tera? The chart below shows the progression of flops downward to giga, mega, and kilo.  But did you know speed in the hundreds range is hecto and within the tens range is deca?

For example, your program may run at 50 flops or 5 DFLOPS, or it may run at 300 flops or 3 HFLOPS. If it cycles slower than a DFLOP, measurements in IPS are acceptable or just use clock cycles.

MIPS  - Millions instructions per second
DFLOP - D stands for ten      (DECA)
HFLOP - H stands for hundred  (HECTO)
KFLOP - K stands for thousand (KILO)
MFLOP - M stands for million  (MEGA)
GFLOP - G stands for billion  (GIGA)
TFLOP - T stands for trillion (TERA)