Monday, 11 Jan, 2010 Offbeat
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Computer Scientist Calculates Pi to 2.7 Trillion Digits

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In August 2009 a Japanese computer scientist managed to break the world record for the highest number of digits in Pi. Now another computer scientist claims he has set a new record, being able to calculate Pi to 2.7 trillion digits.

His achievement exceeds that of the Japanese scientist by 123 billion digits, but the most impressive fact is that Japan's Daisuke Takahashi made his calculations using a multi-million dollar supercomputer while Fabrice Bellard used only his desktop computer. The computer scientist says that he may even break his own record. "It will depend on my motivation, and on the availability of new hardware with larger and faster storage," said Bellard.

Although he mentioned that he is not very much interested in the digits of Pi. The most interesting are the algorithms used to do arbitrary-precision arithmetic. Bellard mentioned that optimizing these algorithms and obtaining good performance is a sophisticated programming challenge.

The software, used by the computer scientist, was based on Linux. According to Ballard, he paid for his PC less than 2000 Euros. It included a Core i7 CPU at 2.93GHz, 6GB of RAM and 7.5TB of disk storage, reports TG Daily. The next goal of the scientist is to release Linux and Windows versions of his software for those who might be interested in making their own calculations and maybe break his record.

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