Google’s Emma Haruka Iwao and her team have broken the Guinness World Record for calculating the most accurate value of pi. Little surprise that this accomplishment was announced on Pi Day. The team harnessed the power of cloud computing to successfully run calculations for 31,415,926,535,897 digits of pi.
Iwao works as a cloud developer advocate at Google. She and her team have broken the previous record of 22,459,157,718,361 digits which was set back in 2016. The same y-cruncher program was used to calculate pi as the previous record holder. However, the edge was provided by Google’s cloud-based compute engine.
To calculate the 31 trillion digits of pi, it took 25 virtual machines and 121 days to run the calculation. The previous record holder, Peter Trueb, used one very fast computer with two dozens of 6TB hard drives to store the massive dataset produced. That calculation was completed in 105 days.
Iwao did mention that one of the biggest challenges with this project was the need for “a lot of storage and memory to calculate.” Over 170TB of memory was used for the calculation to be completed. Running this entire calculation in the cloud shielded the project from any potential hardware outage, not to mention the fact that Google’s cloud infrastructure is pretty solid.
Watch the video below to learn how she and her team were able to set a new world record;