DNA Chips Might Break Moore’s Law

IBM is using DNA to ferry carbon nanotubes to make chips. Meanwhile, bug protein may soon be used to provide us with terabytes of data on a DVD. It all sounds so futuristic and creepy, but despite the fanfare, using biology as a storage medium or microfab is hard. Unlike a mechanical tool, biology adapts, morphs and can mutate, resulting in manufacturing problems.

However, there’s a reason science is pouring money and brainpower into proteins. DNA, which keeps terabytes of data tightly wrapped in a double helix packed inside every cell, is an incredibly efficient storage medium. With Moore’s Law demanding more transistors packed on a chip, the idea of DNA computers has taken hold as a means to get past 10 nanometers (right now chipmakers are starting their production of 45 nanometer chips). In other words, organic computing is poised to get a lot more organic.