A teraflop is a measure of a computer's speed and can be expressed as:

A trillion floating point operations per second

10 to the 12th power floating-point operations per second

2 to the 40th power flops

Today's fastest parallel computing operations are capable of teraflop speeds. Scientists have begun to envision computers operating at petaflop speeds.

Petaflop:

A petaflop is a measure of a computer's processing speed and can be expressed as:

A thousand trillion floating point operations per second (FLOPS)

A thousand teraflops

10 to the 15th power FLOPS

2 to the 50th power FLOPS

Today's fastest parallel computing operations are capable of teraflop speeds. The National Science Foundation, together with NASA and DARPA, has funded eight research projects for envisioning a petaflop computer. Cray says that its X1 supercomputer is "a major milestone en route to Cray's goal of delivering, by 2010, the world's first supercomputer able to sustain petaflops speeds...on a variety of challenging applications." A petaflop computer would actually require a massive number of computers working in parallel on the same problem. Applications might include real-time nuclear magnetic resonance imaging during surgery, computer-based drug design, astrophysical simulation, the modeling of environmental pollution, and the study of long-term climate changes.

Read more about it at:

Cray provides more information about the X1.

More information on the projects can be obtained from the National Science Foundation .