Sustained floating-point computation rates on real applications, as
tracked by the ACM Gordon Bell Prize, increased by three orders of
magnitude from 1988 (1 Gigaflop/s) to 1998 (1 Teraflop/s), and by
another three orders of magnitude to 2008 (1 Petaflop/s). Computer
engineering provided only a couple of orders of magnitude of
improvement for individual cores over that period; the remaining
factor came from concurrency, which is approaching one million-fold.
Algorithmic improvements contributed meanwhile to making each flop