Google Cloud developer advocate Emma Haruka Iwao has beaten her own record from three years ago for the number of digits calculated for pi. In 2019, she was able to calculate pi to its 31.4 trillionth digit, and now, using the same Google Cloud y-cruncher program, Iwao was able to find pi to its 100 trillionth digit, which is zero.
After starting the process in October 2021, it took the computers until March 2022 to finish. At 157 days, compared to 121 days spent figuring out a shorter number in 2019, it was going more than twice as fast. According to Iwao, she was using the same tools and techniques, but the enhanced speed is due to how the parts of Google Cloud have improved since then with 100Gbps networking, balanced Persistent Disks, and other features detailed in this deep dive into the calculations.
Another significant difference is the massive amounts of data processed to calculate numbers this far out. During the first record-breaking calculation, computers processed about 19,000TB (terabytes) of data, the blog post says. This time around, to calculate 100 trillion digits, the computer processed about 82,000TB of data.
The blog post also laid out some fun facts to indicate exactly how big 100 trillion is for us humans. Apparently, 100 trillion inches of pie crust would stretch from Earth to the Moon and back 3,304 times. If you’d like to download all 100 trillion digits yourself or see the source code they used, you can get it right here.
Still, even with the extra processing speed, the announcement has missed Pi Day 2022. But it’s just in time for Tau Day, which comes at the end of this month on June 28th and celebrates a different circle constant that has been overlooked because it doesn’t rhyme with pie.