A team from the Swiss Fachhochschule Graubünden has calculated pi to a record number of decimal places. With two AMD EPYC 7542 CPUs, the students and researchers reached 62.8 trillion decimal places after 108 days.
The Swiss university of applied sciences used a system with two AMD EPYC 7542 CPUs, each of which has 32 cores and 64 threads. Calculating pi to far behind the decimal point especially requires a lot of memory; the system used was equipped with 1TB of ram and 510TB of HDDs, which were largely used as swap memory. The configuration consisted of 38 HDDs in JBOD with a capacity of 16TB each and a speed of 7200rpm. Of these, 34 were used as swap memory and 4 for the storage of pi.
The team used developer Alexander Yee’s y-cruncher to calculate pi. That program can handle properties of modern processors and has also been used for previous world record attempts. The Swiss used Ubuntu 20.04 and made several adjustments to speed up the calculation of pi. For example, security functions and power saving functions were disabled.
The aim of the researchers and students at the Swiss university of applied sciences was to show that with a limited budget, relatively simple hardware and a small team they can calculate the irrational number pi to a record number of decimal places. After 108 days and 9 hours, the team reached 62.8 trillion decimal places. That is 12.8 trillion more than the previous record.
Images: Fachhochschule Grisons
In its own words, the Swiss university’s calculation was almost twice as fast as Google’s in 2019 and about 3.5 times faster than the last recorded world record from 2020. The researchers are awaiting confirmation from the Guinness Book. or Records. When it’s in, they’ll publish the full number. For the time being, they only give the last ten digits of the outcome: 7817924264.
In the Guinness Book of Records, the most accurate calculation of pi is currently in the name of the American Timothy Mullican. It came to 50 trillion decimal places after eight months in early 2020. He used a server with four Intel Xeon E7-4880v2 CPUs, with 15 cores and 30 threads each. Mullican broke Google’s record with his attempt, which was set in 2019 by a Google Cloud employee. Emma Haruka Iwao calculated on the data center hardware of Google pi to 31.4 trillion decimal places. An instance with 96 Intel Skylake cores was used for this.
Fachhochschule Grisons vs. google vs. Mullican