A constrained Shannon-Fano entropy coder for image storage in synthetic DNA

by   Xavier Pic, et al.

The exponentially increasing demand for data storage has been facing more and more challenges during the past years. The energy costs that it represents are also increasing, and the availability of the storage hardware is not able to follow the storage demand's trend. The short lifespan of conventional storage media – 10 to 20 years - forces the duplication of the hardware and worsens the situation. The majority of this storage demand concerns "cold" data, data very rarely accessed but that has to be kept for long periods of time. The coding abilities of synthetic DNA, and its long durability (several hundred years), make it a serious candidate as an alternative storage media for "cold" data. In this paper, we propose a variable-length coding algorithm adapted to DNA data storage with improved performance. The proposed algorithm is based on a modified Shannon-Fano code that respects some biochemichal constraints imposed by the synthesis chemistry. We have inserted this code in a JPEG compression algorithm adapted to DNA image storage and we highlighted an improvement of the compression ratio ranging from 0.5 up to 2 bits per nucleotide compared to the state-of-the-art solution, without affecting the reconstruction quality.


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