An example of a gigabyte is about 200 songs stored on an mp3 player.
- a unit of storage capacity in a computer system, equal to 1,073,741,824 (2) bytes
- loosely one billion bytes
Origin of gigabytegiga- + byte
- A unit of computer memory or data storage capacity equal to 1,024 megabytes (230 bytes).
- One billion bytes.
Usage Note: The usual meaning of the prefix giga- is one billion, so one would expect the term gigabyte to refer to one billion bytes. However, in describing the capacity of an electronic device that stores digital data, it often has a special meaning, referring to the power of 2 closest to one billion, which is 230, or 1,073,741,824 bytes. This special meaning comes about because storage devices use binary numbers to keep track of storage locations, and so are often designed with a number of storage locations that is a power of 2. Nonetheless, for reasons of convenience manufacturers of hard drives generally use gigabyte when they mean a rounded off sum of 1 billion bytes. In other aspects of technology, such as data transmission, where powers of 2 are less relevant, a gigabyte normally means exactly 1 billion bytes. Other prefixes, such as mega- and tera-, show a similar pattern in use.
giga- + byte
gigabyte - Computer Definition
Equal to 230 (1,073,741,824) bytes.
See Also: Bytes.