A DNA-based archival storage system

the morning paper

A DNA-Based Archival Storage System – Bornholt et al. ASPLOS ’16

It’s pretty cool that a paper on DNA-based storage makes a conference such as ASPLOS. And as you’ll see, there are good reasons we should be taking it very seriously indeed. DNA has some very interesting properties – it’s extremely dense (1 exabyte (109 GB) per mm3) and lasts a long-time (observed. half-life of over 500 years. It doesn’t work quite like this, but to put that density into context, imagine how many mm3 of raw storage you could fit into a USB-sized form factor. I’ll guess at least 100 – that would be 100,000 PB of storage in your thumb-drive!

In this paper the authors build a DNA-based key-value store supporting random access and are successfully able to store and retrieve data. Crucially, it seems that the internet’s cute kitten image archive can be…

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