Microsoft Could Store 700 TB Data on Just a Component of one Gram
For example, your external HDD size is 1 TB. Now, more than of this size, you can store data on DNA by a compound weighing just a gram. This is just one of the benefits Microsoft expects to store data in DNA.
Currently, researchers at Microsoft Research are working on information storage systems to store data into DNA based structure. According to the company, the idea is to transform an old dream into reality. In Microsoft data centers, this system will come to market in a maximum of three years.
Actually, is it possible to store data in DNA? Is this initiative capable of bringing about a new revolution in the technology market?
Store data in DNA – The future
In theory, yes, we are facing something revolutionary. Actually, DNA is seen as the primary alternative to replace, very soon. Reasons for this are not lacking: the first, already mentioned, is the high density of information.
The other advantage is durability. Ideally, the DNA can remain intact for a period of one hundred to a thousand times longer. It is for this reason, for example, DNA records keep alive in bones of dead animals thousands of years ago. But, a conventional HD cannot last more than a few decades.
The biggest drag on the fastest advancement of this technology is still the cost. Microsoft calculations show that to be feasible, costs to store data as DNA need to fall 10 thousand times. Only then, this technique is adoptable on a large scale. But, this is not the case. Therefore, the company in partnership with Twist Bioscience, is following tight tests about how to store data in DNA.
How we can store digital data in DNA
The technique of transforming data into DNA consists of converting digital codes into biological codes (DNA sequences). In a hypothetical scenario, the numbers “1” will store data as the “A” and “C” sequences. Similarly, the “0” will store as the “T” and “G” sequences.
Both the read and write process of the information is still slow. It was not possible to exceed 400 bytes per second yet. The researchers are looking for ways to achieve speeds (100 MB/sec) to store digital data in DNA.
But, it is also a bit low as compared to today’s HD. But, this DNA storage method will compensate in terms of volume.
To get an idea, the complete process of reading and writing the word “HELLO” can take up to 21 hours. Researchers have already found a way to reduce that time to 12 hours. But, it’s still too long for technology to prove viable.
How much it will cost
However, this new technique isn’t prepared to use for large-scale yet. It costs $7000 to store the 2 MBs and an extra $2000 to retrieve the data. The cost will reduce over time, but, still, it may take a long time.
Given the specificity of its characteristics, it is assumed that, at first, the companies will store digital data in DNA only for legal purpose.
In addition to Microsoft, other companies have been researching this technology since 2013. The Microsoft appears a bit more advanced in testing, having managed to store 200 MB in DNA by 2018. For that, it acquired no less than 10 million oligonucleotides.
The forecast of launching a commercial prototype, at least for now, is completely ruled out. Find out the latest technological products