Google Cloud employee calculates pi to 100 trillion digits
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Google Cloud employee calculates pi to 100 trillion digits

Google Cloud developer advocate Emma Haruka Iwao has broken her own record from three years ago for the number of digits computed for pi. In 2019, she was able to calculate pi to her 31.4 billionth digit, and now, using the same Google Cloud y-cruncher program, Iwao was able to find pi to her 100 billionth digit, which is zero. After starting the process in October 2021, the computers took until March 2022 to finish. At 157 days, compared to 121 days spent calculating a shorter number in 2019, it was going more than twice as fast. According to Iwao, he was using the same tools and techniques, but the improved speed is due to how parts of Google Cloud have since improved with 100Gbps networking, balanced persistent disks, and other features detailed in this deep dive into the calculations.

Another significant difference is the large amount of data processed to calculate such far-flung numbers. During the first record calculation, the computers processed about 19,000 TB (terabytes) of data, the blog post says. This time, to calculate 100 trillion digits, the computer processed about 82,000 TB of data. The blog post also featured some fun facts to indicate exactly how big 100 trillion is for us humans. Apparently, 100 trillion inches of pie crust would stretch from the Earth to the Moon and back 3,304 times. If you want to download the 100 trillion digits yourself or see the source code they used, you can get it here. Still, even with the extra processing speed, the announcement has missed Pi Day 2022. But it comes just in time for Tau Day, which arrives later this month on June 28 and celebrates a different circular constant that is has been overlooked because t does not rhyme with cake.

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