Why it matters: This is the first time the Pi record has been set using a commercial cloud service and the first achieved using solid state drives. SSDs weren’t used before due to their prohibitive cost and limited write endurance.
Google is celebrating Pi Day, the annual observation of the mathematical constant π, in a big way. The search giant, using the power of its cloud infrastructure, has set a new record for the most accurate value of pi.
From September to January, Emma Haruka Iwao, a developer advocate for Google Cloud, ran a computation of Pi to 31.4 trillion decimal places—31,415,926,535,897 to be exact, or π * 10^13. The feat was achieved using a Google Compute Engine virtual machine cluster to run the Pi benchmark program y-cruncher.
Interestingly enough, the computation resulted in a total of 10 PB of reads and 9 PB of writes – the latter being enough to destroy the average consumer solid state drives roughly 10 times.
Iwao’s calculation set a new Guinness World Record. It’s nearly nine trillion digits more than the previous world record set by Peter Trueb in November 2016.
Lead image courtesy Marina Keremkhanova via Shutterstock