Three years after Seattle software developer Emma Haruka Iwao and her colleagues at Google set the world record for accurate pi calculation, they did it again. Thanks to Iwao and Google Cloud, we now know what pi equals with an incredible accuracy of 100 trillion digits.
Mathematicians made the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter over millennia, which goes back even as far as the Babylonians (who thought of it as 3.125). It is important for scientists and engineers to know the value of arbitrary numbers with a high degree of accuracy, but more than a certain point it is really about showing how well an algorithm or computer network can manage more practically. problems.
That’s what prompted the Iwao team to do the math with an accuracy of 31.4 trillion digits (pi times 10 trillion) in 2019. As a developer advocate for Google Cloud, what better way to showcase the power of your cloud computing services than pioneering pi pack?
Since 2019, the state of the art in computer science and engineering has been advancing at an accelerated pace. The Google Cloud record was broken less than a year ago, and in 2021, na the record was broken (with an accuracy of 62.8 trillion digits, or pi times 20 trillion).
State of the art has also advanced with Google Cloud.
“By combining all the new features introduced over the past three years, I thought we’d be able to break a record again, and not just by a few numbers, but by a good margin,” he said. by Iwao on GeekWire. “We thought, OK, 100 trillion sounds reasonable, and a significant step up from the previous album.»
Thanks to upgrades to Google Cloud’s computing engine and increased throughput, Iwao and the Google team captured 100 trillion digits in 157 days of compute time, or just over a month with more than 121 days. to calculate 31.4 trillion digits within 2019.
Approximately 82,000 terabytes of data were processed, using a pi computing program known as y-cruncher. That’s more than four times the amount of data processed in 2019. For its value, Google says 82,000 terabytes of data equals 2,598 years of HD movies.
For number geeks, here are the last 100 digits of the result, ending in zero as the 100 trillion digits:
4658718895 1242883556 4671544483 9873493812 1206904813 2656719174 5255431487 2142102057 7077336434 3095295560
You can check the numbers through Pi.Delivery, a website created by the Google Cloud Platform Developer Advocacy team. And you can read a couple of blog posts by Iwao and the Google Cloud team to learn more about how the numbers were made.
Iwao suspects that it will not be long before another record is set.
“Computers keep getting better,” he said. “So is the Google Cloud infrastructure. We have a limit. The Y-cruncher has some specific limitations, and we are below those limitations. … Many people want to target more pi numbers, including me. »
It’s not just about raw numbers: “I really look forward to further advances and changes in computer science and engineering, as well as algorithms and math,” Iwao said.
These advances can be applied to down-to-earth computing tasks as well as to pi-in-the-sky problems.
“You may not have calculated the trillion-digit pi, but you have other problems and applications that you want to run in the cloud or on computers,” Iwao said. “It could be scientific research, it could be multimedia, transcoding, 3D rendering, games, anything. Communicating new technologies, new hardware, and architectures with developers and practitioners is one of my areas of interest.»
And who knows? Maybe someone can find a real-world application for 100 trillion digits of pi. “Honestly, I look forward to hearing from people who look at the website and come up with new ideas,” Iwao said. “We publish all the figures (…) and see if they can do anything with these figures.