USB Flash Drive

What Does USB Flash Drive Mean?

A USB flash drive is a device used for data storage that includes a flash memory and an integrated Universal Serial Bus (USB) interface. Most USB flash drives are removable and rewritable. Physically, they are small, durable and reliable. The larger their storage space, the faster they tend to operate. USB flash drives are mechanically very robust because there are no moving parts. They derive the power to operate from the device to which they are connected (typically a computer) via the USB port.


A USB flash drive may also be known as a flash drive or USB drive.

Techopedia Explains USB Flash Drive

Based on the Universal Serial Bus mass storage standard, USB flash drives are supported by all operating systems and BIOS. Compared to optical disk drives and floppy disks, USB flash drives can store more data and also transfer it at a faster rate.

A typical USB flash drive consists of a USB connector, which is well protected and electrically insulated inside a plastic or rubber case. A small printed circuit board with surface-mounted integrated circuits are found within the device’s casing.

The main components of the USB flash drive are:

  • Standard USB plug. This provides connects the flash drive to a device.
  • USB mass storage controller. This is a microcontroller for the USB. It has a small amount of RAM and ROM.
  • NAND flash memory chip. The data is stored in the this component
  • Crystal oscillator. The data output is controlled by this component.

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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…