Google is celebrating Pi Day (March 14th) by breaking a record. March 14th is the annual observation of the mathematical constant: π. By using its cloud infrastructure, Google set a new record for the most accurate value of pi.
Between September and January, developer advocate Emma Haruka Iwao ran a computation of Pi to 31.4 trillion decimal places. More specifically, Iwao computed π to 31.4 trillion decimal places—31,415,926,535,897 to be exact, or π * 1013. This calculation was achieved with Google’s Compute Engine virtual machine cluster. And as a result, Google has broken a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title.
This is almost nine trillion digits more than the previous world record that was set by Peter Trueb in November 2016. And this is the first time that the Pi record was set using a commercial cloud service and the first time it was achieved using solid state drives (SSDs). In the past, SSDs were not a reliable option due to costs and limited writing abilities.
Here is what Iwao wrote about the calculation:
We achieved this feat using y-cruncher, a Pi-benchmark program developed by Alexander J. Yee, using a Google Compute Engine virtual machine cluster. 31.4 trillion digits is almost 9 trillion digits more than the previous world record set in November 2016 by Peter Trueb. Yee independently verified the calculation using Bellard’s formula and BBP formula. Here are the last 97 digits of the result.
6394399712 5311093276 9814355656 1840037499 3573460992
1433955296 8972122477 1577728930 8427323262 4739940
The program started on September 22, 2018, and ended on January 21, 2019. And the total start-to-end time was 121.1 days. The total disk I/O was 9.02 PB read and 7.95 PB written. And the computation was verified twice: once with the 7-term BBP formula and another time with the original 4-term BBP formula.