Friday January 04, 2019

Largest Prime Number to Date Discovered

Last month, Mersenne Research announced the discovery of the largest known prime number to date. Both the announcement and WolframAlpha say that 2 ^ 82,589,933 - 1 has nearly 25 million digits in base 10, which is apparently over one and a half million digits larger than the previous record holder, and the announcement also mentions that this is the 51st known Mersenne Prime. Using the same software that's frequently used to stress-test CPUs, M82589933 was reportedly discovered by by Patrick Laroche on December 7, 2018, and verified by others shortly afterward.

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The primality proof took twelve days of non-stop computing on a machine with an Intel i5-4590T CPU. To prove there were no errors in the prime discovery process, the new prime was independently verified using three different programs on three different hardware configurations. Andreas Hoglund verified the prime using CUDALucas running on a NVidia V100 GPU in 21 hours. Andreas Hoglund also verified the prime using Mlucas running on 16 cores of an Amazon AWS instance in 72 hours. Aaron Blosser also verified it using Prime95 on an Intel 7700K processor in 6 days, 8 hours.

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