According to New Scientist, mathematicians have found a new way of adding two integers together that is faster than the method currently employed.

Using the common algorithm of sticking one number over the other then multiplying the individual digits, it would take a computer six months to multiply two billion digit long numbers, so they found better algorithms that used logarithms to shorten the process.

The new method has shortened the process even more, but there's a wee bit of a drawback, it currently only works on numbers that are more than 20 trillion trillion trillion digits (that's a 20 with 36 zeros after it) long.

Still, there are bound to be some applications that use numbers that big (climate modelling?)