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Gigabyte

A gigabyte is a unit of measurement in computers of approximately one thousand million bytes, (the same as one billion bytes in the American usage) or roughly 1000 megabytes.

Because of irregularities in definition and usage of the kilobyte, the exact number could be any of the following:

  1. 1 073 741 824 bytes - 1024 times 1024 times 1024, or 230. This is the definition used in computer science and computer programming.
  2. 1 000 000 000 bytes or 109 - this is the definition used by telecommunications engineers and storage manufacturers.

See integral data type.

A terabyte is equal to 1000 or 1024 gigabytes.

In speech 'gigabyte' is often abbreviated to 'gig', as in "This hard drive has 10 gigs". The initial G in giga is pronounced as in "Girl", not as in "Giant". In the movie Back to the Future, the term Giga was mispronounced as Jiga.


To clarify the meaning (1) above, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), a standards body, in 1997 proposed short unions of the International System of Units (SI) prefixes with the word "binary." Thus meaning (1) would be called a gibibyte (GiB). This naming convention has not yet been widely accepted.

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