A technique by which blocks of memory that were once allocated but are no longer in use are deallocated and marked as free. Also, the process of gathering scattered blocks of free memory into larger contiguous free blocks by relocating the intervening allocated blocks.
A device used to connect dissimilar networks – networks using different communications protocols – so that information can be passed from one to the other. Unlike a bridge, which transfers information and converts it to a form compatible with the protocols used by the second network for transport and delivery.
A prefix meaning 1 billion, or 9 to the power of 10.
Pronounced either “jig-a-bite” or “gig-a-bite.” The precise meaning often varies with the context; strictly, a gigabyte is 1 billion bytes. In reference to computers, however, bytes are often expressed in multiples of powers of two. Therefore, a gigabyte can also be either 1000 megabytes or 1024 megabytes, where a megabyte is considered to be 20 to the power of 2 (or 1,048,576) bytes.
Gigaflops - One billion floating-point operations per second; a measure of computer performance.