Japanese calculates pi to 10 trillion digits

The 10-trillion pi output screen. The times don’t reflect actual computation.


Screenshot by Tim Hornyak/CNET from Numberworld.org

TOKYO–Who knew that “1989″ was near the 10-trillionth digit in the value of pi? No one until now.

Two years ago, I speculated that a computer in Kyoto or Osaka would calculate the value of pi to 10 trillion digits.

I was wrong. The computer that apparently just clinched that record is in Nagano, Japan. And unlike the T2K-Tsukuba System that charted the irrational number in 2009 to 2.5 trillion digits, the latest number-crunching champ isn’t a supercomputer–it’s a hacked-together PC.

Shigeru Kondo of Iida, Nagano Prefecture, worked with software designed by Northwestern University grad student Alexander Yee, and followed up their 2010 feat of reckoning pi to 5 trillion digits.

The result was achieved earlier this month after 371 days of computation and numerous hard drive failures.

The work was not affected by the March earthquake and tsunami, or by subsequent… [Read more]

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