A USB flash drive which is also known as a thumb drive or pen drive, is a portable storage device that uses flash memory. It is small enough to be carried anywhere with you. Instead of a compact disk, a flash drive can be used. When a user connects a flash memory device to a computer’s flash port, the operating system recognizes it as a removable drive and then a drive is assigned to it. Universal serial bus is used to store files and data copies to run diagnostics to troubleshoot device issues, or to boot an operating system. The drives are compatible with Microsoft Windows, Linux, MacOS, various Linux variants, and a variety of BIOS boot ROMs. In this article, a detailed introduction to Universal serial bus is given that what is USB, its uses and types?
What is USB?
USB full form is universal serial bus. A Universal Serial Bus is a standard interface that allows any device to communicate with a host controller like computer or smartphone. It connects peripheral devices like digital cameras, mice, keyboards, printers, scanners, video players, external hard drives and flash drives to computer. Universal serial bus has replaced a wide range of interfaces such as the parallel and serial port due to its wide range of applications, including support for electrical power. In addition, Universal serial bus is faster than older ports like serial and parallel. USB 1.1 supports data transfer rates of up to 12 megabits per second, while USB 2.0 has a maximum transfer rate of 480 megabits per second.
Types of USB
USB flash drives can link to computers using one of three Universal serial bus specifications: 1.0, 2.0 or 3.0. Any new version of the specification allows for higher data transfer speeds than the previous one. In addition to these three models, there have been many updates.
USB 1.0 was announced in 1996. It came in two different versions:
- USB 1.0 low-speed: Provides a data transfer rate of 1.5 megabits per second (Mbps).
- USB 1.0 high-speed: Has a data transfer rate of 12 Mbps.
USB 2.0 was released in 2000 which is also known as High-Speed Universal serial bus. The maximum data transfer rate for USB 2.0 is 480 Mbps. This resulted in a 40-fold increase in efficiency. It is backwards compatible, allowing flash drives that use older Universal serial bus technology to easily migrate.
USB 3.0 was introduced in 2008 which is also known as Super-Speed Universal serial bus. USB Promoter Group created Super-Speed USB to increase data transfer rates while lowering power consumption. The data transfer rate increased tenfold from High-Speed Universal serial bus to 5 Gigabits per second with its Super-Speed. It has lower power requirements when active and its USB 2.0 backwards compatible. In 2013, USB 3.1, also known as Super-Speed+ was announced. For higher throughput, it increased the data transfer rate and improved data encoding.
The bulk of USB cables used to be of one of two types: type A or type B. The type A USB 2.0 standard has a flat rectangle interface that plugs into a hub or USB host to transfer data and provide power. Type A flash drive connector is commonly found on a keyboard or mouse. The exterior corners of a type B connector are slanted. It’s attached to a printer’s upstream port, which uses a removable cable. In addition to transmit data, the type B connector also provides power. Some form B connectors are only used for power and do not have a data link. With the passage of time and improvement in technology, newly introduced devices are taking place of older ones.
Flash drives have both advantages and disadvantages. Although flash drives are small and compact, consume very less power but do not contain any moving parts. The machines, whether made of plastic or rubber, are durable enough to withstand mechanical shocks, scratches and dust, and they are usually waterproof. If a flash drive is unplugged from a computer or the computer is turned off but the drive is left in, data on the drive can be stored for a long time. A flash drive is also useful for transferring data between a desktop computer and a notebook computer, as well as for personal backup.
A flash drive, unlike most removable drives, does not require rebooting once connected, does not require batteries or an external power supply. The ability to handle a small number of write and delete cycles before the drive fails, data leakage and malware exposure are all disadvantages of such flash drives. Since the devices are portable and difficult to monitor, data leakage is a concern. When the computer is plugged into an infected machine, malware will cause a security breach.
Frequently asked questions
What is USB flash drive?
USB stands for universal serial bus. A USB flash drive, also known as thumb drive, or pen drive, is a plug-and-play portable storage device with flash memory that is small enough to be carried on a keychain. Instead of a compact disc, a flash drive can be utilized.
What is universal serial bus?
A Universal Serial Bus is an interface that enables communication between devices and a host controller such as a personal computer or smartphone.
USB is which type of storage device?
A flash drive is a Secondary storage device. These typically have a large storage capacity and store data indefinitely.