The world is producing more data than our imagination, but a solution could be the very molecule that contains our genetic code


Image Source: Forbes

Every day we produced 2.5 million gigabytes of data and each year, the amount of data produced globally increase more rapidly. This creates a serious problem, the rate at which we produce data is outpacing our ability to store it.

If on daily basis we watched every single YouTube video, every photo we snapped from our phone, and every document we saved was stored on traditional flash memory chips. It would consume 10 to 100 times the expected supply of silicon by 2040.

From above mention trivia, it is clear that we need another way to store. The data storage method of the future needs to be more strong and dense. That is the data currently being stored in data centers the size of football fields needs to be placed in a much smaller vehicle. That solution needs to transfer data quickly and store faster most prized media for decades without causing it to break down.

Microsoft, one of the introduced DNA storage, is making some progressive steps toward working with the University of Washington’s Molecular Information Systems Laboratory, or MISL. The company recently announced a new research paper the first nanoscale DNA storage writer, which the research group expects to scale for a DNA write density of 25 x 10^6 arrangement per square centimeter, or three orders of magnitude (1,000x) more tightly than before. What makes it more unique is that it’s the first indication of achieving the minimum write speeds required for DNA storage.

Microsoft is one of the top and most leading players in cloud storage and is looking at DNA data storage to achieve an advantage over the competition by using its unparalleled density, sustainability, and shelf life. DNA is said to have the dense capability of storing one Exabyte or 1 billion gigabytes, per square inch an amount many magnitudes larger than our current best storage method, Linear Type-Open (LTO) magnetic tape can provide.

The International Data Corporation estimated data storage demands will reach nine zettabytes by 2024. As Microsoft notes, only one zettabyte of storage would be used in case Window 11 were downloaded on 15 billion devices.  The nine zettabytes of information can be stored in an area as small as a refrigerator and some scientists say every movie ever released could fit in the footprint of a sugar cube.

Increase write speed is one of the main problems with DNA storage and the other problem is cost. A natural step is to embed digital logic in the chip to allow individual control of millions of electrode spots to write kilobytes per second of data in DNA and we also predicted the technology reaching arrays containing billions of electrodes capable of storing megabytes per second of data in DNA. This step will bring DNA data storage performance and cost significantly closer to tape.


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