Microsoft is trying to become more revolutionary in technology and the new device the company created is – indeed – revolutionary.

In a partnership with researchers from the University of Washington, Microsoft has managed to automate the process of translating digital information into the DNA and the company even built a device which is capable of storing data as DNA.

During a first test, the prototype managed to transform the word “HELLO” into DNA. For starters, the device transformed the information in binary system, in a series of 1 and 0 numbers, and it was coded in the bases that form the DNA sequence ( A, C, T, G ). Then the DNA was synthesized and stored as a liquid.

The device Microsoft created can not only store the information but it can also read it. The decoding software transformed the information back into bytes. The 5 bytes message took 21 hours to be converted from one state to another. The researchers already identified a way to reduce the time down by 12 hours.

Thanks to the technology, the information stored in data centers the size of warehouses might be stored – in the future – on a small device the size of a pack of gum.

Microsoft is hoping to create a DNA based storage system available in a data center by the end of this year.

DNA data storage is not exactly new

According to many scientists, DNA is the answer when it comes to massive data storage. With the help of the DNA we can storage huge amounts of information in the space occupied by a chain of molecules. So, in one gram of DNA we can store petabytes of information.

Microsoft is not the first company to use DNA to store data, but the Redmond giant managed to make the technology better. Microsoft is the first company to build an automated system.

However, before the technology can become a commercial success it should cost less. The prototype Microsoft built has a price tag of $10,000.


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