- Microsoft plans to develop a storage system based on DNA working inside a data center by the end of the decade, according to Technology Review.
- Last summer, Microsoft announced it had stored 200 megabytes of data in DNA strands, according to Technology Review.
- "DNA is the densest known storage medium in the universe, just based on the laws of physics. That is the reason why people are looking into this," Victor Zhirnov, chief scientist of the Semiconductor Research Corporation, told Technology Review. "And the problem we are solving is the exponential growth of stored information."
Because there are physical limits to how much data can be stored in traditional storage media like tapes or hard drives, several companies are now looking into new, ground-breaking methods of data storage. In March, IBM researchers announced they had figured out how to store data on a single atom.
DNA can hold data at extraordinary densities. But there are obstacles to using these alternative materials as in storage systems, including the amount of labor required and the expense. Microsoft says the cost of DNA storage would have to drop by a "factor of 10,000 before it becomes widely adopted."
The issue has come to the forefront because of the explosion of data in recent years. Every day 2.5 quintillion bytes of data is created, according to IBM's estimates. And 90% of the data in existence was created in just the last two years. All that information requires physical storage on the back end, and at this rate storage capacity will become a major issue very quickly.