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Pi Day: Google calculates pi to 31 trillion digits, breaks world record

Google SMASHES world record on ‘Pi Day’: First 31.4 trillion digits of the mathematical constant are calculated using thousands of cloud computers – and the task took 121 days to complete

  • Google employee Emma Haruka Iwao calculated pi to 31 trillion digits
  • They made their announcement today, on Pi day, which is the 14th of March
  • Haruka used a program called y-cruncher on 25 Google Cloud virtual machines
  •  It took her 121 days to complete, without breaks, from her office in Japan
  • She broke the record for pi set by Peter Trueb in 2016, which was 22.4 trillion digits long

A Google employee has broken the world record for calculating Pi to the highest number of digits – at 31 trillion.

They made their announcement today, on Pi day which falls on March 14th, or 3.14, the US format of the date, in its most basic form.

Emma Haruka Iwao, a developer for , used an application called y-cruncher on 25 different virtual machines to generate the number from her office in Japan.

She said the calculation took about 121 days to complete – with zero breaks, otherwise it would have been disrupted.  

 

Company employee Emma Haruka Iwao, here, used an application called y-cruncher on 25 Google Cloud virtual machines. The calculation took about 121 days to complete – with zero breaks, otherwise it would have been disrupted 

In mathematics pi, represented as the symbol ‘π’, is the ratio of a circle’s radius to its circumference and has far more digits than 3,14, which continue infinitely.

The contstant is used in engineering, physics, supercomputing and space exploration – because its value can be used in calculations for waves and circles.

Supercomputers are often tasked with calculating the number to more digits – the previous record, set in November 2016 by Peter Trueb, is 22 trillion digits. 

But now the record has been broken by Ms Iwao who used Google Cloud’s Compute Engine. 

She calculated it to 31,415,926,535,897 digits, which also happens to be the value of pi – 3.1415926535897.  

Ms Iwao said she had been fascinated by the number since she had been a child. 

‘Pi seems simple – it starts with 3.14. When I was a kid, I downloaded a program to calculate pi on my computer,’ Emma said.

In mathematics pi is the ratio of a circle's radius to its circumference, has far more digits that continue infinitely without repetition. Supercomputers are often tasked with calculating the number to more digits - the previous record is 22 trillion digits

In mathematics pi is the ratio of a circle’s radius to its circumference, has far more digits that continue infinitely without repetition. Supercomputers are often tasked with calculating the number to more digits – the previous record is 22 trillion digits

A member of Google's staff has broken the world record for calculating Pi to the highest number of digits - at 31 trillion. They made their announcement today, on Pi day which falls on March 14th, or 3.14 in its most basic form

A member of Google’s staff has broken the world record for calculating Pi to the highest number of digits – at 31 trillion. They made their announcement today, on Pi day which falls on March 14th, or 3.14 in its most basic form

‘When I was a kid, I didn’t have access to supercomputers But even if you don’t work for Google, you can apply for various scholarships and programs to access computing resources.

‘I was very fortunate that there were Japanese world record holders that I could relate to myself.

‘I’m really happy to be one of the few women in computer science holding the record, and I hope I can show more people who want to work in the industry what’s possible.’    

WHAT IS CHINA’S ‘SUPER SUPER COMPUTER’ COMPETING WITH THE US?

On Friday, the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee unveiled the ‘Summit’ supercomputer that can deliver a peak performance of 200 petaflops, or about 200 quadrillion calculations per second.

It managed to beat out the previous record holder that was China’s Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer.

Summit managed to beat out the previous record holder that was China's Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer (pictured), which had a peak performance of 93 petaflops

Summit managed to beat out the previous record holder that was China’s Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer (pictured), which had a peak performance of 93 petaflops

Summit is 60% faster than the TaihuLight supercomputer, which could achieve a peak performance of 93 petaflops.  

Previously, China was home to the world’s two fastest supercomputers. 

China held that record for five years. 

Last year, China, had 202 machines on the Top500 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers. Meanwhile, the US only had 143.  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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