Six Fun USB Flash Drive Facts You May Not Know

By · Monday, July 18th, 2011

Fun USB Flash Drive Facts We tend to take for granted all of the unique functions of a USB flash drives—reading and writing files, formatting, loading portable apps, booting operating systems and more.  What we don’t know about are the behind-the-scenes efforts and fun little tidbits that make flash drives what they are today.  So, here’s a little food for thought!

–      The first USB flash drive on the market had an 8MB capacity.  Introduced to the market in 2000 by IBM and Trek Technology, 8MB was an impressive storage capacity for its day.  In reality 8MB equals approximately 4,000 pages of text or less than a minute’s worth of video.  By comparison, today’s standard 16GB flash drive can easily hold 36 hours of video or a virtual library.

–      While today, Apple tends to favor other interfaces for its peripherals (including FireWire 800, Ethernet, 30-pin and now Thunderbolt), the iMac G3 was the first computer to pioneer the USB technology used by flash drives as a mainstream standard.

–      To create the chips made for your flash drives, manufacturing conditions are pristine—measured to be 100 times more clean and sterile than a hospital’s operating room.

–      For every chip that goes into your custom USB flash drive, it must go through hundreds of stages before it is rendered as a final product (wafer cutting, circuit board mounting, assembly, testing and packaging are just a few of these processes).   The process takes at least one month, even with nonstop operation.

–      The first band to create a USB flash drive album was punk rock German band WIZO in 2004.  The album titled “Stick EP” had a 64MB capacity.  The music flash drive featured five songs, a band video, pictures and addition multimedia fan features.

–      The flash drive memory and SSD market is currently estimated at $38 billion.  With increasing applications for flash drives, portable devices and new technology enterprises hitting the market, the amount is estimated by industry experts to nearly double to approximately $60 billion in the next four years.

Any flash drive factoids you’d like to share?  Feel free to comment below!

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