There are a lot of studies and reports about the liquid hard drive and its market in the future. But do you know what the liquid hard drive is exactly? It is actually a new kind of hard drive which enlarges the capacity a lot. More information about liquid data storage will be introduced in the following content.
Currently, the traditional hard disk drive and the new solid state hard drive are two kinds of the mainstream data storage devices (MiniTool provides full solutions to disk configuration, system backup, as well as data recovery).
A series of researches have been carried out by experts in recent years. If there is a breakthrough in material science, liquid state will become the mainstream data storage medium. So what is a liquid hard drive? What can you expect from the liquid hard disk?
FYI: Do you want to recover data from hard disk drive or SSD after a crash? Please adopt MiniTool Power Data Recovery!
Liquid Hard Drive Review
A team of materials science researchers from the US put the microscopic particles suspended in the liquid. Then, they began to study it and tried to encode the same 1s and 0s which are saved on solid hard drive platters. The researchers finally came to a conclusion: the clusters of these particles are going to be used for the storage of large amount (up to 1TB) of data, and this will happen in only one tablespoon of liquid hard drive.
1 TB of Data Can Be Stored in One Tablespoon of Liquid Drive
The suspension of nanoparticles included in the liquid hard drives can actually be used to save vast amounts of data (approximately 1 terabyte per tablespoon). For that alone, liquid data storage is a good choice.
The new wet information storage technology has been studying and simulating by a lot of researchers from universities (the University of Michigan and New York University). The clusters of nanoparticles can be suspended in liquid and can store more data than the conventional hard disk (which only contains two storage states: 0 and 1).
For liquid state hard drive, it’s easy to show different storage states: the nanoparticles are able to combine in different ways. Take the 12-particle memory cluster (which is linked to the central sphere) as an example; it has up to eight million unique states and this equals to 2.86 bytes of data.
How the particles are used to store data?
In fact, all the nanoparticles in the liquid drive are connected to a central sphere during the working process.
- If the central sphere is small, the external particles will be bound to each other to a certain place so as to store data for you.
- If the central sphere becomes a little bit larger, the particles will be reconfigured to represent different unique states for keeping different information.
The particles are made of polymers and four of them will work together to create a cluster on the central sphere. If you heat up the liquid, the central sphere will be expanded and the particles will be reorganized in a predictable way.
Search results: after the immolations, the researchers surprisingly find that 1TB of data can be stored in just a tablespoon of 12-nanoparticle clusters solution (the concentration is 3%).
The clusters are called Rubik's Cubes by researcher Carolyn Phillips.
You can use the same mathematics that describes a Rubik's Cube to show that every rearrangement of the cluster's spheres is possible and reachable.
What’s still need to make the liquid state drive a practical reality?
To tell the truth, though the idea of liquid hard drives becomes more and more popular, there is currently no practical way to the lock the clusters into the right shapes among a large amount of liquid. Only when an effective way has been found, can users read the data in liquid drives with ease. At present, what’s the research team working on right now is: counting bits with a scanning tunneling microscope.
For the present, the clusters can be regarded as the unique identifiers for liquid materials. In this way, they can help to keep track of the controlled substances (such as fuel and chemicals), which could be adopted to produce illegal drugs.
Yet, after a period of development, those clusters will finally be used to:
- Detect pollutants in water
- Allow for sensing and control in soft robots
- Give support to the medical information processing process inside the body
There is no denying that there is still a long way to go before the introduction and popularization of liquid computer memory.
Make the Best of Your Conventional Hard Drive
At present, the mechanical hard disk is still the mainstream storage device. To help you get the most of your hard disk, I advise you to get the following tools for managing your disk and protecting your system & data.
Tool 1: MiniTool Power Data Recovery.
This is a wonderful data recovery program that is able to help you recover lost data in various cases. MiniTool provides you with 8 license types: 4 for home users and 4 for business users; the main functions of them are the same, while the differences lie in registration, usage environment, and services. (The snap-in WinPE Bootable Builder can even help you recover data when hard disk won’t boot.)
You should choose a suitable license and follow the guide given below to recover data. Here, I’ll take the Trial Edition as an example.
How to recover lost data with MiniTool Power Data Recovery:
- Get the setup program: you can store it on a local drive/removable disk as long as it doesn’t include any files waiting to be recovered.
- Install the software: you should double click on the setup program and follow the wizard to finish installing the recovery tool properly.
- Launch the software: you can choose to launch the recovery tool in the last step of installation or double click on the application to run it.
- Select a proper storage device type: determine the type of your drive containing lost data and choose a proper option from the left panel.
- Scan the target drive: double click on the certain drive with lost files from the right panel to start detecting the files.
- Browse & select needed files: wait for the scan and browse the scan result; find all the data you really need and check them.
- Set safe storage path: click on the Save button and specify a location to store the recovered data; click on the OK button to confirm and wait for the recovery process to complete.
- If you need to recover data from a USB flash drive or external hard drive, you should connect it to your PC before step 3.
- You can only recover data from a drive when it shows up on your computer (at least in Disk Management).
- The Trial Edition only allows you to scan the drive and preview found files; if you need to recover them, you must acquire a license for a full edition.
How to recover data if the USB flash drive is not recognized:
Various solutions are provided for you to fix USB flash drive not recognized error and recover data from the inaccessible flash drive.
How to fix when the external hard drive doesn’t show up:
The problem – external hard drive not showing up/recognized/detected – can be fixed easily by following ways.
Tool 2: MiniTool Partition Wizard.
This is a top-ranking disk manager which is able to help you optimize hard disks and SSDs easily by providing you with a comprehensive set of operations.
The commonly used features are:
- Disk Benchmark
- Migrate OS to SSD/HD
- Partition Recovery
- Move/Resize Partition
- Rebuild MBR
- Convert Disk
- Convert Partition
- Merge Partition
You can finish all the disk management operations easily by just looking at the instructions.
Tool 3: MiniTool ShadowMaker.
It’s a powerful backup tool that provides data protection services and disaster recovery solutions for PCs, Servers, and Workstations.
Main functions include:
- System Backup and Restore
- Files and Folders Sync
- Restore to Different Computer
- Files and Folders Backup
- Change Backup Scheme
- Automatic Backup
You should realize the importance of backup. Please keep your device protected all the time and give it the highest level of data security by using MiniTool ShadowMaker.
Liquid Hard Disk Composition
The liquid hard drive research group, led by Sharon Glotzer and David Pine, adopts a type of colloidal suspension of dimpled nanoparticles, which are designed for special use.
What Is Colloidal Suspension
It actually means that the particles used will not be dissolved in the solution for good. Besides, all the properties of the particles will be kept intact.
What Is Soft Matter
Those US researchers have finally made the first breakthrough: the so-called “soft matter” becomes viable data storage medium and the storage density is incredible. Indeed, there are a lot of choices for the soft matter: liquid, polymer, foam, or some biomaterials.
What they all have in common (the root reason for using soft matter) is that the physical behaviors of them under different temperatures are divinable. In other words, the shape of these soft matters is changeable at the molecular level.
What Happens When the Liquid Gets Heated Up
Actually, the particles will rearrange themselves in some ways that could be expected. The nanoparticles used in the study arranged by Sharon Glotzer and David Pine are organized in a group of 4; meanwhile, the central sphere serves as a binding point for the cluster.
Activities of nanoparticles:
The nanoparticles will be moving around on the surface of the central sphere if thermal energy is added to the system. Thus, there will be different configurations. The whole assembly is very tiny (about 5 micrometers across), but the change in the conformation (the arrangement of atoms in a molecule) can be viewed clearly by the team.
The nanoparticles become more and more active during heating. They are ready to store data when the system is heated up to a certain degree. Why? That is because the simplest four-particle cluster is provided with two distinguishable configurations, instead of the default unstimulated state. The other 2 shapes are parallel to the chiral molecules.
What does this mean? Actually, it means that they are composed of the same elements. Yet, they can’t be overlapped on each other and they are not symmetrical. That explains why the researchers can distinguish them easily. Those two states can be regarded as 1 or a 0; therefore, a single bit of data is encoded in each cluster of the nanoparticles.
The research team has reached the first milestone until now. This is only the first step. The clusters need to be locked into the right shapes at the right time when they are put in large volume of liquid. They can’t depend on counting bits with a microscope. Therefore, a more reliable way needs to be discovered.
Future of Data Storage
Do you have any idea of how storage will be developed in the future? If not, the following content will explain the future trends of data storage to you.
It is estimated that each person will generate about 1.7 megabytes of data every second by the year 2020. Till then, the cloud will deal about one-third of the data. (The cloud has been developing so fast mainly due to its easy access and diverse services.)
The cloud will be one of the mainstream data storage methods for not only individuals but also enterprises in the future. The enterprises will spend almost three times as much money on cloud services in 2020 as they did in 2014 according to the estimate. It's undeniable that traditional storage isn’t able to meet companies’ needs for scale and cost-efficiency.
Liquid state drive will also become a popular way of data storage in the futures. The microscopic participles suspended in liquid will be used to store large amounts of file information. This has been talked about a lot in the previous parts.
DNA Data Storage
Scientists also find that storing data in DNA is also possible in the future; the DNA sequence can be used to save electronic data.
DNA is definitely an effective way to store data because even a tiny speck of DNA contains all of the information about human’s genetic makeup. According to the researchers’ estimation: 1g of DNA is able to save about 450 exabytes of information (this is several hundred times more than all the information stored in the cloud today).
Another bright spot for DNA data storage is reliability: the data will be kept in DNA for hundreds of thousands of years without risk of getting damaged.
Thanks to the development of technology, there will be a user-friendly, more convenient and cheaper solution (just like keeping data on a set of sticky notes) to replace today’s USB flash storage. The new material called graphene will be adopted in datastickies to save up to 32 GB of data. Can you imagine that the minimum thickness of graphene is just one atom?
Datastickies require that monitors to be made of a special surface so as to achieve interaction. Till then, users can access data conveniently by sticking the post-it note device onto the monitor.
In addition, the following storage may become popular in the future:
- Helium Drive Technology
- SMR Technology
- HAMR Technology
- Holographic Storage
- Cassette Tapes
For a liquid hard drive, the metal inside the hard drive will always be kept in its liquid state. The substance is actually a compound called vanadium dioxide. The positive or negative charge can be given to vanadium dioxide and it can switch between conducting and insulating easily. Needless to say, liquid state drives are very promising for future data storage.