DNA Data Storage and Near-Molecule Processing for the Yottabyte Era

Luis Ceze, University of Washington, and Karin Strauss, Microsoft Research


DNA data storage is an attractive option for digital data storage because of its extreme density, durability, eternal relevance and environmental sustainability. This is especially attractive when contrasted with the exponential growth in world-wide digital data production. In this talk we will present our efforts in building an end-to-end system, from the computational component of encoding and decoding to the molecular biology component of random access, sequencing and fluidics automation. We will also discuss some early efforts in building a hybrid electronic/molecular computer system that can offer more than data storage, for example, image similarity search.

Luis Ceze, University of Washington

Luis Ceze is a Professor in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington, Co-founder and CEO at OctoML, and Venture Partner at Madrona Venture Group. His research focuses on the intersection between computer architecture, programming languages, machine learning and biology. His current research focus is on approximate computing for efficient machine learning and DNA-based data storage. He co-directs the Molecular Information Systems Lab. He has co-authored over 100 papers in these areas, and had several papers selected as IEEE Micro Top Picks and CACM Research Highlights. His research has been featured prominently in the media including New York Times, Popular Science, MIT Technology Review, and Wall Street Journal, among others. He is a recipient of an NSF CAREER Award, a Sloan Research Fellowship, a Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship, the 2013 IEEE TCCA Young Computer Architect Award, the 2020 ACM SIGARCH Maurice Wilkes Award and UIUC Distinguished Alumni Award.

Karin Strauss, Microsoft Research

Karin Strauss is a Senior Principal Research Manager at Microsoft Research and an Affiliate Professor at the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering at University of Washington. Her research areas are computer architecture, systems, and most recently biology, and she co-directs the Molecular Information System Laboratory. Her research interests include environmental sustainability of IT infrastructure, emerging memory and storage technologies, scaling of computation and storage, and special-purpose accelerators. She has over 100 papers and patents in these areas, was selected as one of the "100 Most Creative People in Business in 2016" by Fast Company Magazine, and is a recipient of the 2020 ACM SIGARCH Maurice Wilkes award. Her research has been featured prominently in the media including New York Times, Wall Street Journal, MIT Technology Review, Scientific American, and Popular Science, among others. She got her PhD from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2007.

@conference {266293,
author = {Luis Ceze and Karin Strauss},
title = {{DNA} Data Storage and {Near-Molecule} Processing for the Yottabyte Era},
year = {2021},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = feb,

Presentation Video