The demand for archival data storage has been skyrocketing, and if a new research initiative reaches its goals, that need could be met by taking advantage of an efficient and robust information storage medium that has proven itself through the centuries: the biopolymer DNA.
The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity’s (IARPA) Molecular Information Storage (MIST) program has awarded a multi-phase contract worth up to $25 million to develop scalable DNA-based molecular storage techniques. The goal of the project, which will be led by the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), is to use DNA as the basis for deployable storage technologies that can eventually scale into the exabyte regime and beyond with reduced physical footprint, power and cost requirements relative to conventional storage technologies.
The technology already exists for storing and reading information into DNA — which also encodes the genetic blueprint for living organisms — but significant advances will be needed to make it commercially practical and cost competitive with established magnetic tape and optical disk memory. While current archival storage has a limited lifetime, information stored in DNA could last for hundreds of years.
Continue reading at: Georgia Tech News Center