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ARM Innovation Hub
14 September, 2020 - 10:05 By Tony Quested

Cambridge Consultants partner CATALOG raises $10m

The brilliance of innovation hothouse Cambridge Consultants is at the heart of breathtaking technology from DNA based data storage pioneer CATALOG in Boston US which has just raised a fresh $10 million.

Named by TIME as one of the Best Inventions of 2019, CATALOG'S DNA data storage device was designed and built in the UK in partnership with Cambridge Consultants.

Named 'Shannon', the device recently stored the full English text version of Wikipedia into synthetic DNA molecules. A total of 16 gigabytes of data was stored, more than ever previously captured into DNA.

CATALOG is being lauded as the world's first DNA based platform for massive digital data storage and computation; it has also named former IBM ace David Turek as new chief technology officer.

Horizons Ventures led this current oversubscribed round, joined by Airbus Ventures. The investment will be used to fund early product trials and continued Research and Development. 

In total, CATALOG has raised $21m through additional investors, including NEA, OS Fund, Data Collective, AME Cloud, and SOSV.

CATALOG addresses challenges facing data-intensive industries. According to a recent report, the amount of data created, captured, and replicated every year will grow to over 175 zettabytes by 2025 – up from 33 zettabytes today. 

While the cost of traditional storage has been declining, the average enterprise storage system lifespan is less than five years, and storage density capability isn’t keeping pace with the explosive data growth.

Founded in 2016 by MIT scientists, CATALOG is the first company to develop a commercially viable solution that uses a data storage medium as old as life itself, DNA. 

DNA as a storage device is orders of magnitude smaller and denser than standard drives will ever be. A football field’s worth of storage capacity – or over one billion gigabytes of data – can fit into a sugar cube size container of DNA and remain stable for thousands of years.

In collaboration with Cambridge Consultants in the UK, CATALOG developed an innovative device using technology similar to inkjet printers to convert the zeros and ones used to store binary data in traditional storage into a combination of pre-synthesized DNA molecules.

This technology can hold a million times more data in the same volume of magnetic and solid-state media. Shannon, can write at a speed of over 10 Mb/sec and generates over a trillion identifiers in a single run.

It can store up to 1.63Tb of compressed data in a single run. An entire warehouse of storage can be replaced by Shannon, which can fit into a family size kitchen.

• Image courtesy of Cambridge Consultants.

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