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New Pi Record Exploits Yahoo's Computers


pi illustration

Credit: ibbly.com

Yahoo researcher Tsz-Wo Sze developed software that made a record-breaking calculation of the digits of pi using the company's computers. Sze's program represents pi in binary notation, and calculated to the two quadrillionth binary digit of pi. The record is twice as distant as the previous record.

Sze's program was installed on 1,000 Yahoo computers, each equipped with eight processors. The computation was made possible by using cloud computing technology and Hadoop open source software, which enabled thousands of networked computers to be used as if they were a single machine.

"As a technology company with big data at its core, we are excited by the possibilities of distributed software systems, most notably, Hadoop," says Yahoo's Eric Baldeschwieler.

Calculations of pi are especially suited to distributed computing because they are easily broken into smaller parts, says Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's David Bailey.

From New Scientist
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