USB drive

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USB drive

(1) An external hard disk drive or optical disc drive that plugs into the USB port. See portable hard drive.

(2) A solid state storage module that plugs into the computer's USB port. Using flash memory chips that hold a terabyte or more of data, the solid state USB drive emulates a hard disk. USB drives are extremely popular for backup as well as data transfer from one machine to another. They can also hold an operating system and be used to boot the computer (see bootable disk). Their ever-increasing storage capacities have all but obsoleted writable CDs and DVDs. See sneakernet.

Known By Many Names
Debuting at the turn of the century, a USB drive is also called a "flash drive" as well as many other monikers. Any combination of the words "USB," "flash," "key," "drive," "jump" and "stick" are used (see USB drive names).

Transfer Speed
USB drive vendors use the data transfer ratings of CD-ROMs, where each "x" equals 150KB per second. For example, a 90x drive is 13.5MB/sec (90 x 150). See CD-ROM drives and solid state.

Long-Term Marketing Mileage
Vendors give away custom-printed USB drives preloaded with promotional material, because people keep using them.

No Bigger Than the Plug
In 2010, Verbatim launched its Tuff-"N"-Tiny line, only two millimeters thick. Although the contacts are exposed (top left), the units are water and dust proof.

Steampunk Drives
A 19th century USB drive... of course. These drive cases are hand crafted. See steampunk. (Image courtesy of WillRockwell,

Fun and to the Point
Bevy makes devices that hold a user's photo collection, and this rather appropriate USB drive holds its promotional material.

One Terabyte USB Drive
In 2013, Kingston Technology introduced the first 1TB drive. Imagine telling someone in 1993 when floppy disks were widely used that in 20 years, a handheld device would hold the equivalent storage of 650,000 of them. By 2017, 2TB drives were introduced.
References in periodicals archive ?
Following up on a day that involved a forgotten watch, a close encounter with a noncompatible Mac, and the need to borrow a PC from a volunteer in the audience, Bernadette now brings two copies of the talk with her: one on a jump drive and one loaded onto her own laptop.
Students edited their photos online and saved them to their jump drives to print out later.
The next morning, I copy all the images onto a USB jump drive, dismantle the equipment, and put everything away.
Both are in turn controlled by the HL patent combining translation slide as a result of declining probe snail with a mass of gold acting as flywheel and to provide the energy necessary to jump drive.
And with the TV's USB side input, they can easily connect a jump drive to view their honeymoon photos.
Easy implementation of the V1000 program using software and an optional Yaskawa Y stick, which serves as a jump drive that allows users to easily load new operational instructions from a computer.
The day was concluded with will attendees receiving a jump drive with the TEI logo engraved on it
And by any name--whether called a USB drive, a jump drive, a pen drive, a thumb drive, a flash drive, or a memory stick--it's small, compact, and cheap and can be used to store data, making it a popular item among students and teachers.
Use a jump drive, also called a flash drive, for saving large amounts of data.
The other Lexar device, pictured at the top right, is a Jump Drive that combines data storage with an MP3 music player.