USB drive

(redirected from Memory key)
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Related to Memory key: USB flash drive, Jump drive, USB memory stick

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 up to one terabyte 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 mostly 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 for other purposes.

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 personal photo cloud devices to hold a user's multimedia collection and this rather appropriate USB drive holds Bevy's promotional material.

One Terabyte
In 2013, Kingston Technology introduced the first terabyte USB drive. Imagine telling someone in 1993, when floppy disks were widely used, that in 20 years, a lightweight, handheld device would hold the equivalent of 650,000 floppies. By 2017, 2TB drives were introduced.
References in periodicals archive ?
Systems based on the C5515 FDK will allow users to unlock a door, a memory key, PC or other devices with the simple swipe of a finger.
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The study finds that at a price point of $100, 54 percent of consumers express interest in using a USB memory key to listen to their own formats of music in their next new vehicle.
The accompanying USB memory key, shaped like the WB logo, is loaded with iconic music that is the equivalent of a 20 CD set.
With the proliferation of USB memory key fobs, the biggest problem our enterprise customers face today is how to ensure tracking, record-keeping and auditing of data that leaves the premises on a USB device," said Vimal Vaidya, CEO of RedCannon Security.
They make Compact Flash and the 1 gigabyte SwissBit Key USB Memory key.
If their letters are written in advance and saved to a memory key, they can reach all family and friends during their designated online time.
This combines a USB memory key containing an embedded GSM SIM card and a PC soft phone program with BridgePort Networks' NomadicONE Network Convergence Gateway located in the mobile operator's network.
Ruggedized USB Storage Device Designed to Be Most Durable USB Memory Key Ever Built
With on-screen guidance and one-touch memory keys, the system costs about $30,000.
The i-SENSYS MF5840dn and i-SENSYS MF5880dn feature SEND functionality with Compact PDF, which provides faster, more efficient document distribution directly to email addresses, network folders and USB memory keys and enables a smaller file size without compromising image quality.
In-flight entertainment has been improved to carry larger screens with plugs for memory keys and iPods.