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Giga

Giga (symbol: G) is a prefix in the SI system of units denoting 109, or 1 000 000 000.

Confirmed in 1960, it comes from the Greek γίγας, meaning giant.

In computing, giga can sometimes mean 1 073 741 824 (230) for information units, eg gigabit or gigabyte, but can also denote 1 000 000 000 of other quantities, e.g. transfer rates: 1 gigabit/s = 1 000 000 000 bit/s. The binary prefix gibi has been suggested for 230, to resolve this ambiguity, but had yet to achieve widespread usage.

In speech, gigabyte is often abbreviated to gig, as in "This is a ten-gig hard drive". The initial G in giga- is usually pronounced hard as in geek, not soft as in giant. However, in the 1985 movie Back to the Future, the term giga was pronounced with a soft g sound, as jiga, in the word gigawatts. This was before units like gigabyte were commonplace.

Common usage


SI prefixes
10n Prefix Symbol Short scale Long scale Name Decimal Equivalent
1024 yotta Y Septillion Quadrillion 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000
1021 zetta Z Censored page Trilliard (thousand trillion) 1 000 000 000 000 000 000 000
1018 exa E Quintillion Trillion 1 000 000 000 000 000 000
1015 peta P Quadrillion Billiard (thousand billion) 1 000 000 000 000 000
1012 tera T Trillion Billion 1 000 000 000 000
109 giga G Billion Milliard (thousand million) 1 000 000 000
106 mega M Million 1 000 000
103 kilo k Thousand 1 000
102 hecto h Hundred 100
101 deca, deka da Ten 10
10−1 deci d Tenth 0.1
10−2 centi c Hundredth 0.01
10−3 milli m Thousandth 0.001
10−6 micro Millionth 0.000 001
10−9 nano n Billionth Milliardth 0.000 000 001
10−12 pico p Trillionth Billionth 0.000 000 000 001
10−15 femto f Quadrillionth Billiardth 0.000 000 000 000 001
10−18 atto a Quintillionth Trillionth 0.000 000 000 000 000 001
10−21 zepto z Sextillionth Trilliardth 0.000 000 000 000 000 000 001
10−24 yocto y Septillionth Quadrillionth 0.000 000 000 000 000 000 000 001


See also

External link

  • Conversion of bits and bytes http://www.sengpielaudio.com/calculator-bits.htm
  • BIPM website http://www.bipm.org


Last updated: 02-08-2005 06:54:34
Last updated: 02-25-2005 14:00:06