Google calculates Pi to 100 trillion digits

Claims world record run took 157 days, 23 hours … and just one Debian server

Google has put its cloud to work calculating the value of Pi all the way out to 100 trillion digits, and claimed that's a world record for Pi-crunching.

The ad giant and cloud contender has detailed the feat, revealing that the job ran for 157 days, 23 hours, 31 minutes and 7.651 seconds.

A program called y-cruncher by Alexander J. Yee did the heavy lifting, running on a n2-highmem-128 instance running Debian Linux and employing 128 vCPUs, 864GB of memory, and accessing 100Gbit/sec egress bandwidth. Google created a networked storage cluster, because the n2-highmem-128 maxes out at 257TB of attached storage for a single VM and the job needed at least 554TB of temporary storage.

32 storage nodes, using the n2-highCPU-16 instance, and a single compute node were assembled into a cluster that offered 64 iSCSI block storage targets.

H2 instances run Intel Ice Lake and Cascade Lake CPUs, but Google hasn't said which was used for this job.

Google admitted it did this to show off its cloud, and how fast it's become since last breaking the record for Pi-munching when it went 31.4 trillion digits deep in 2019. The 2019 post explaining that effort says it consumed 111.8 days of computing, but used a very different rig.

The 2022 Pi run clearly worked faster – which won't be a surprise – although the rigs used in 2019 and 2021 were very different, so an apples-to-apples comparison is tricky.

The Register has estimated the cost of this effort: n2-highmem-128 instances cost $7.706976 an hour at list price, so the cost of the compute server was about $29,000. The n2-highCPU-16 instances cost $0.57 an hour, or about $70,000 for the whole job. Data movement would have added plenty to the task.

And all to produce a trillion digits of Pi.

Sadly, Google's post doesn't mention whether or not all those numbers contained any interesting patterns that might hint at the nature of the cosmos, or whether any recreations of Shakespeare appeared.

Figuring that out probably needs more than a single Debian box. ®

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