Origin of ordinary things: USB Flash drive

USB Flash drives are devices primarily used for data storage. You can copy files stored in flash drives and you can also save different kinds of files on it. Net photo.

It is easy for us today to find a USB flash drive that suits our needs, whether you require high storage capacity or top tier components. 

According to premiumusb.com, Fujio Masuoka a Japanese inventor who joined Toshiba in 1971 began working on a new storage memory concept while still a factory manager. He was focused on developing memory that retained all of its information even without power (now called “non-volatile”).


By 1981, Masuoka went to patent EEPROM (electronically erasable programmable read only memory), more commonly known as flash memory. Masuoka introduced flash memory in 1984 to the industry at the International Electronics Developers meeting, where Intel took great interest.


The American chipmaker subsequently put hundreds of engineers into crafting and perfecting flash memory where Toshiba only allowed Masuoka five workers part-time for the same endeavor. In 1987, he began creating NAND flash. The NAND chip stores files while utilizing read and write functions.


Ajay Bhatt is a computer architect from Intel credited with developing the standard USB interface (Universal Series Bus) in 1994. In the early 90’s, users had to contend with countless plugs and connections for devices like parallel and serial ports, expansion cards and more. Bhatt and his team figured there was an easier way to go about using your peripherals (devices you add to your computer to enhance usability and performance such as a mouse or keyboard) and so we now have a standardized port, the USB.

The creation and patenting of the very first flash drive is however, credited to Dov Moran and his company, M-Systems. He founded M-Systems in 1989. Six years later, Moran’s company patented and marketed the DiskOnChip (DoC), a flash drive predecessor. 

From there, Dov Moran’s M-Systems created the DiskOnKey. It boasted the physical appearance and characteristics that we associate with today’s flash drive—a flash chip controller within a plastic case, an LED indicator, a key loop, and a metal USB connector.

Original storage capacities ranged between 8MB to 32MB, which pale in comparison to today’s USB devices.

On the other hand, a team led by computer architect Ajay Bhatt developed the standard USB interface. Bhatt and his team were interested in simplifying the plugs of the different devices we use to enhance the performance of our computers (ex: printer, mouse, keyboards, etc.). They were the first to introduce this standardised port more commonly known as the “USB.” This is according to promotional drives.com.

These drives contrasted with M-Systems in the way the memory chips were engineered. Pua devised a single chip controller, called a System on Chip (SoC). This chip is an integrated circuit which incorporates all mechanisms of a computer all in one place.

USB drives have not lessened in importance due to cloud technology; rather their purpose has shifted from holding your documents and other data to booting systems, running diagnostics, and storing HD movie libraries. Promotional USB drives have found a niche market in promotional marketing due to their efficiency and ideal nature as a modern vehicle for disseminating information and branding. The future of the USB flash drive is exciting and provoking, turn to US Digital Media to keep you up to tabs with this vibrant market.


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