USB Drive: Disected (and explained)

Not everyone knows what a USB drive looks like on the inside. Well, here it is, in all its glory.

Here is what you can see in the image:

[a] NAND Flash – This is the memory chip. When you copy files to the drive, this is where they are stored. This type of memory is also used inside camera memory cards and solid state hard drives. Flash Memory was invented by Toshiba and introduced into the market in 1987. Currently the main manufacturers of Flash are Toshiba, Samsung and Hynix.

[b] Controller Chip – The controller chip is responsible for various functions of the USB drive. It allows partitioning, serial numbering and special formatting.

[c] LED – LED stands for Light Emmiting Diode. In simple terms, this is a light that indicates use of the drive. More simple than that, the light will blink when the drive is in use, and will stay lit when plugged in to the USB port.

Why is all of this important? Mainly because knowing what a USB drive is made up of can help you understand its functionality better. Without proper use, a USB drive is as useless as….well, I guess as useless as something useless.

USB TIP: Pre-loading (or printing) a unique URL allows you to easily track the use of your USB drives.