Warp refers to both the unit of measurement used for faster-than-light travel and the most common technology used to achieve such speeds.
The most common form of faster-than-light travel used by advanced races, warp drive generates a subspace bubble around the vessel it is propelling, distorting the fabric of space/time around the vessel and propelling it at superluminal velocities.
Warp 20 is considered the threshold of warp drive, as the increase in speed relative to the increase in power after this point is negligible. Thankfully, this barrier can be overcome by other forms of propulsion, most notably Quantum Slipstream drives.
The traditional unit of measurement for faster-than-light travel is the time warp factor, usually abbreviated simply as "warp". The scale is based upon the amount of speed that can be achieved by a successive doubling of power consumption. Warp 20 is considered to be a threshold of traditional warp drive, as after Warp 11, the successive increases in power yield diminishing increases in speed; the difference in speed between Warp 10 and Warp 11 is 1,200 times the speed-of-light, or a 60% increase, whereas the increase between Warp 19 and Warp 20 is no more than the increase between Warp 1 and Warp 2, i.e. only seven times the speed-of-light, or a mere .001% increase. Beyond that speed, there is little point in attempting to build more powerful engines for nearly infinitesimal gains.
|Warp Factor||Times Speed-of-Light|