USB Flash Memory: ‘The World is Getting Smaller’

Pen drive‘The world is shrinking’….yes! I am not merely quoting this phrase out of the textbooks holding reference to the ‘Big Bang Theory’, but perceiving it from the point of view of micro CD’s and other flash memories that have marked this era of technological revolution. In the present scenario, fast data transfer and cross-platform compatibility have emerged as the fundamental needs of information exchange. The Information Technology boon has energized our lives and has penetrated deep into the daily activities of ordinary people.

USB (Universal Serial Bus) is an external peripheral interface standard developed by the computer industry to allow communication between a computer and external peripherals (digital device) over a cable using bi-serial transmission. USB pen drives provide data, music and video transfers and storage in a convenient, hassle-free manner with plug-and-play ease. The term ‘Pen Drive’ was coined due to its drastic similarity with the conventional pen with a cap with which we have scribbled throughout our life, but its functionality is far more diverse than its counterpart. The USB Pen Drives are a sub-class of flash memory which is a type of EEPROM (Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory) chip that can be erased electronically and reprogrammed in-circuit (or with a device programmer) consisting of a complex grid of columns and rows. At the same time, serial access has greatly reduced the number of electrical connections required for the memory chips, which has allowed the successful manufacture of multi-gigabyte capacities.

They are lightweight, compact, portable, more reliable for lack of moving parts, and have a more durable design. They cater to the interest of wide class of people by enabling transfer of professional projects and presentations, useful software, movie, songs or games, thus serving the needs of mobility and inter-operability. Rising from these, there is a better and bigger alternative in line in the form of External Hard Disk Drives (HDDs). They have literally revolutionized the way we organize our documents and have provided security to our electronic data by serving as backup devices. While the small storage pen drives such as 4GB, 8GB derive power from their serial connection to the computer through USB hubs and operate without any moving mechanism, the external hard disk with capacities of the order of 250 GB or 500 GB generally function on external power supplies.

Their usability penetrates deep into the technology requirements of the hour with tasks like booting the operating system through the flash drives, providing biometric or password encryption for the files/folders supported by them, or using the flash memory as an added RAM to boost up the system performance. The invention of such devices has accelerated the development of technology and has guaranteed a wider reach of information among the masses.

The world is never the same,

Each passing moment brings about a change.

Sometimes it interests us, sometimes we feel strange,

But certainly, technology has surprised us by its range.

Ishant Arora

Image Courtesy: []