Pros, Cons for Monolithic (COB) Flash Drives

By · Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Monolithic COB Flash Drive They’re small, sleek and compact so naturally, people are drawn to chip on board (COB) flash drives.  When they’re produced, manufacturers coat the chip and circuit to create a single piece.  As a result, you may also hear these devices referred to as monolithic USB flash drives.  Being such a specialized USB product, there are distinct characteristics that set these drives apart.  At the same time, they could fall short for flash drive users with different needs.  We’ve compiled some COB flash drive pros and cons to help you determine if they’re right for your storage needs.

Monolithic Flash Drive Pros

Consider a COB flash drive if:

–      A unique flash drive design is paramount to your needs.  The teeny tiny size of COB memory provides flexibility in custom shapes.  They can blend in seamlessly with countless styles so that promotion or novelty takes center stage.   They work well with card, clip, key and dog tag USB designs to name a few.  Where a standard drive with its NAND chip, controller and other components may limit your idea with its size, the COB is a chameleon.

–      The price is right.  You may see some COB drives that are less expensive than their flash memory counterparts because the lack of multiple components makes them cheaper for manufacturers to produce.  When purchased in large bulk quantities and when putting emphasis on small size in design, the lightweight nature of monolithic flash drives helps to lower shipping costs.

–      You want something that’s tough.  They may be smaller, but their compact structure helps them withstand impact that may bring down a traditional unique flash drive design.

COB Flash Drive Cons

Reconsider a monolithic flash drive if:

–      You’re using a drive as a long term backup solution.  When COB drives break or even crack, there is generally no hope of recovering your precious data because there is no way for repair experts to delve into the resistors or capacitors of the circuitry to access the chip like a traditional flash drive.

–      You’re focused on performance.  While they’re adequate in speed, they’re not quite as fast as a flash drive that boasts the standard architecture.

–      You have a hard time keeping track of gadgets.  You can’t get much smaller when it comes to these flash drives.  If you’re concerned that they could get lost in the shuffle for your clients or for a promotional event, you may want to opt for the larger USB drive.

Can you think of any pros or cons to a chip on board flash drive?  Discuss below!

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