Seagate has a new partner to advance its quest to dominate the data storage industry.Storage heavyweights have alliance In collaboration with a DNA-based digital data storage startup called Catalog, founded by MIT alumni in 2016. Scaling the base platform up to 1,000 times.
tom’s hardware We’ve covered the convergence of DNA and computer storage technology several times. What stands out from all these stories is the incredible data density potential of this naturally perfected, organically occurring medium. We reported on this topic last year that DNA could store up to 455 exabytes per gram. This puts modern 20TB HDDs, which can only store 0.027 terabytes per gram, to shame.
However, Seagate and Catalog aren’t collaborating on incredibly small devices. They start with Catalog’s very large DNA-based platform called “Shannon,” which is described as “about the size of an average family kitchen.” Shrinking this DNA storage facility is still very valuable, and using Seagate’s “lab-on-a-chip” technology to reduce the amount of chemicals required for DNA-based storage and computation will make this possible. It is expected to shrink home kitchen setups to 1/1000th of their current size. A rough count would mean that the new setup could fit in a 7 liter chassis.
Seagate’s “lab-on-a-chip” does not handle code. Instead, it has tiny reservoirs and channels for handling minute amounts of DNA in liquid form. These reservoirs pump precise mixtures of liquids into other reservoirs for controlled reactions and results. Miniaturized technology also allows for more automation. With a small “lab”, the next-generation platform is expected to be compact enough to provide commercially viable DNA storage in a variety of settings such as offices, oceanographic research vessels, and space stations.
You might be thinking about the data storage capacity that these collaborative DAN storage devices using Seagate’s chips can provide. A previous news release from Catalog claimed that hard drive storage can cram about 30 million gigabytes into one cubic meter of his space, while the company’s DNA lab says he stores 600 billion gigabytes in the same capacity. I was proud that I could do it. So, by rough math, the new 7-liter version of the Shannon should store around 4 billion gigabytes.
According to Catalog, the first tests of the company’s DNA storage combined with Seagate’s technology are expected to begin in mid-September. Hopefully that means we’ll soon be able to announce a working 1,000x smaller version of Shannon.