In an effort to test the awesome power of their new super computer, a team of scientists at University of Tsukuba, Japan, have calculated Pi out to 2.5 trillion decimal places, more than doubling the previous record.
The computer, the T2K Tsukuba System, used 640 Quad-core AMD Opteron processors, speeding along at 95 teraflops, to perform the calculation. With that huge amount of processing power, the computer finished the calculation in only 73 hours. By comparison, the previous record holder took around 600 hours to calculate half as many digits. And just to make sure that they didn't make any mistakes, the scientists ran the calculation twice.
Calculating pi to that precise of a measurement doesn't have any practical applications (other than proving how bad ass the T2K computer is), but fulfills an ongoing mathematical project of exploring the nuance of this endless, but important, geometric constant. Additionally, if you're into Piphilology, the art of memorizing the numbers in pi, this gives you a new goal to shoot for.
[via Pink Tentacle]
There is actually an algorithm today that enables calculating any digit of PI directly w/o calculating all the previous digits:
whats the point of calculating pi.??
its kinda of a waist of time if ur counting all day.
do we need to know how many numbers there are?
ahh man that is badass! it even looks better than my current desktop computer, though seriously what are they going to use it for? seti@home?
what i wouldn't give to be able to play dwarf fortress on that thing...
I really don't see the point of spending thousands of dollars on a computer the size of a room just to calculatye some trillionth decimal of PI. Unless it's compressed to a desktop size, a computer, even with that kind of power is of no interest to the general public. And I agrre with user "ghost". Why not use it for something really useful like seti@home. Who knows, maybe if everyone who owns these computers focused their attention to SETI, instead of PI, maybe we would've found alien lifeforms already. SETI has terabytes of unprocessed data waiting for it's turn. Personally I dedicate several hours every day to processing several packets of their data on my 8-core machine.
Oops, he just hit print.