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Pen Drive

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What is Pen Drive?

Pen Drive also referred as USB flash drive is a portable device which allows user to transfer data (text, images, videos etc.) to and from computer quickly. Users can easily read and write the data on the Pen Drive by plugging it into the USB port on the computer. Pen Drives are quite compact and can fit easily into the pocket; they run without battery and draw power from the USB connection itself. Both Floppy disks and CDs are now being gradually replaced by Pen Drive as a preferred means of data storage. It’s because latter offers mass data transfer and storage capability and at a much faster rate.

Storage capacity of the Pen Drive can vary from few megabytes to over 100 GB. Nowadays even external hard drives are available in the market with huge storage capacity, which like Pen Drive can be connected to a USB port on the computer.


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History of Pen Drive:-


First commercial product

Trek Technology and IBM began selling the first USB flash drives commercially in 2000. Trek Technology sold a model under the brand name "ThumbDrive", and IBM marketed the first such drives in North America with its product named the "DiskOnKey", which was developed and manufactured by the Israeli company M-Systems. IBM's USB flash drive became available on December 15, 2000, and had a storage capacity of 8 MB, more than five times the capacity of the then-common 3½-inch floppy disks (of 1440 KB).

In 2000, Lexar introduced a Compact Flash (CF) card with a USB connection, and a companion card read/writer and USB cable that eliminated the need for a USB hub.

Second generation

By 2003, most USB flash drives had USB 2.0 connectivity, which has 480 Mbit/s as the transfer rate upper bound; after accounting for the protocol overhead that translates to a 35 MB/s effective throughput. That is considerably slower than what a hard disk drive or solid-state drive can achieve when connected via the SATA interface.

Third generation

Like USB 2.0 before it, USB 3.0 dramatically improved data transfer rates compared to its predecessor. It was announced in late 2008, but consumer devices were not available until the beginning of 2010. The USB 3.0 interface specifies transfer rates up to 5 Gbit/s (625 MB/s), compared to USB 2.0's 480 Mbit/s (60 MB/s).

Fourth generation

As of March 2015, some manufacturers have announced USB 3.1 type-C flash drives with read/write speeds of around 530 MB/s.


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Architecture of Pen Drive:-

Pen drive consists of an electronic circuit board and a USB connector connects the drive to the computer. Pen Drive also known as a Flash memory is an example of NAND style storage device. It is a memory chip which holds the data. Data output is controlled by Crystal oscillator which produces 12 MHz clock signal in the device.

Most Pen Drives are covered with plastic, metal or rubber casing for insulation.


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Advantages of Pen Drive:-

Pen Drives are robust and scratch free thus ensuring maximum security for your data as compared to other traditional means of data storage. Many available PC software suites permit the launch of an operating system from the bootable pen drive. Moreover companies selling Pen Drives nowadays also couple it with other devices like MP3 music player, LED’s or Swiss Knife etc.



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