Researchers at the University of Tsukuba, Japan, have demolished the previous world record on the constant pi, more than doubling the amount of decimals to 2.5 trillion. They used a massive parallel computer called the T2K Tsukuba System.
The T2K Tsukuba System is a 640-computer cluster with a processing speed of 95 trillion floating-point operations per second. The T2K calculated a total of 2,576,980,377,524 decimal places in 73 hours 36 minutes, which is a small fraction of the 600 hours taken by the previous record holders—Hitachi and the University of Tokyo—who calculated only 1.2 trillion places.
Why people keep calculating this? Because they can. And because they wanted to test their new toy, according to team leader professor Daisuke Takahashi. And I just want those pi cookies.