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 ?
TELECOMWORLDWIRE-20 October 2006-Keane to release next single on USB memory stick(C)1994-2006 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD
Fujitsu offers effective solutions for security risks, including unauthorized access on account of third party identity fraud and data leaks resulting from USB memory stick connections, or other external devices.
The new system also allows easy data transfer to a PC using a USB memory stick.
Maintaining high wavelength resolution (1 nm), the UV-1800 UV-Vis spectrophotometer functions as a standalone instrument or can be PC-controlled with USB memory. UVProbe data processing software comes standard, so users can drag and drop data from an optional USB memory stick onto a PC.
If keyrings aren't your thing, how about the Laks USB Memory Watch.
It is expressly noted that a supplement alone is not entitled to supply USB memory sticks.
It functions as a standalone instrument or can be PC-controlled with USB memory. Included UVProbe data processing software enables users to drag and drop data from an optional USB memory stick onto a PC.
Computer- or laptop-free presentations can also be carried out using the USB port to connect a USB memory key, CD ROM drive or a digital camera.
Tender are invited for electronic information carriers (cd, dvd, blue ray, dv tape and a usb memory)
BeCrypt said that Connect Protect has been designed as protection from the malicious use of USB connected devices such as USB memory drive keys, mass storage drives, printers, music players such as the iPod and smart mobile phones.
Tenders are invited for Supply of Compact Thermal Imaging System Similar To Flir Model C-2, System Includes: Infrared Camera, Battery Inside , Lanyard, Power Supply / Charger, Printed Getting Started Guide, Usb Memory Stick With Documentation And Usb Cable.