Computer Memory

USB Memory Sticks: A Super Convenient Way To Take Data With You

Since 1998 when the first flash drive was invented by Dov Moran, these slender little devices have revolutionized the notion of data transference and how it fits into our everyday lives. We can download MP3s and video files form our personal computers to bring along to friends’ places where we can share the relevant information with them.

The typical USB memory stick has a male A-type USB connector at one end as well as a small circuit board inside. On the circuit board several surface mounted integrated circuits and a little power circuitry is mounted. Usually one of the surface mounted integrated circuits is used to provide an interface to the USB port itself.

The main portions of a USB memory stick include:

• A USB mass storage controller that creates and maintains a linear interface to a block oriented series of flash devices. The storage controller also hides the complexities of block orientation, wear balancing, block erasures, and wear leveling. The controller also includes a small microprocessor as well as a tiny bit of on chip random access memory and red only memory.

• A male, A-type USB connector that offers the physical connection between the memory stick and the user’s computer.

• A NAND flash memory chip is able to store and retrieve data. Many times NAND flash memory is also used in digital cameras.

• A crystal oscillator is used to produce the clock signal that controls the USD device’s output through a phase locked loop.

Additionally, many USB memory sticks have such accessories as LEDs to indicate transfers or writes and reads, jumpers, write protect switches and several other nifty features. If you want to find out more about the various additional features that may suit you, check out a consumer interest site such as http://epinions.com.

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