A data storage device with an integrated USB interface is known as USB flash drive. These drives are easy to carry and easy to use. The modern day USB drives come with an auto install service which enables the drives to get installed in the system automatically without the need of any external agent or input. The drives are rewritable and removable and usually carry a lot of data. They can range from a very basic of a few hundred MBs to a whopping 2 GB. The general shelf life for these USB flash drive are about ten years.
Make-up of USB drives
The standard and essential components of a USB stick are:
· NAND flash memory storage chips
· Standard USB plug
· USB mass memory storage controller
· Crystal oscillator
· Plastic or metallic cover.
They were invented by three employees M-Systems, an Israel based computer solution providing company in the year of 1999. The three developers who invented USB flash drive are Dov Moran, Amir Ban and Oron Ogdan. The very first of those flash drives to come in the market used the very basic USB connectivity. Those drives were more commonly known as Thumb Drives and had a memory capacity of just a few MBs. The second generation of flash drives came after just a few years after the launch of first Thumb Drives. The newer generation of flash drives had USB 2.0 connectivity which had a higher band of transfer rate clocked at around 480 Mbit/second. The third generation of USB flash drives started to come in the market in year 2013. The third generation of flash drives boasted of a better USB 3.0 connectivity. These flash drives have a file transfer rate of 5Gbit/second and can hold memory chips of about a couple of Terabytes. The fourth generation of USB flash drives is expected to hit the market by the end of 2015 with USB 3.1 connectivity.