Thousands of years ago, the irrational number pi, with infinite digits, was discovered. Back in 2019, Google Cloud calculated pi out to an impressive 31.4 trillion digits, setting the world record.
Then, last year scientists from the University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons broke that incredible record by tacking on another 31.4 trillion digits, boosting the record to 62.8 trillion decimal places.
How did Google Cloud calculate Pi to 100 trillion digits?
According to Google Cloud’s press release, “the underlying technology that made this possible is Compute Engine, Google Cloud’s secure and customizable compute service, and its several recent additions and improvements: the Compute Ending N2 machine family, 100 Gbps egress bandwidth, Google Virtual NIC, and balanced Persistent Disks.”
Alexander J. Yee created the program that calculated the 100 trillion digits of pi, called y-cruncher v0.8.8. The calculation began last year on Thursday, October 14th, at 12:45 am EDT, and ended on Monday, March 21st at 12:16 am in 2022. The entire calculation took 157 days, 23 hours, 31 minutes, and 7.651 seconds, and required 515 TB of the available 663 TB to store.
Why does this matter?
Google Cloud’s accomplishment of calculating the first 100 trillion digits in the irrational number pi is about more than just the number. In reaching such lengths, the firm proves the flexibility and reliability of its infrastructure, which will help even more scientists continue pushing the envelope of scientific experimentation and discovery.