All posts by Daniel Rubin

Daniel Rubin is the co-owner of USB Direct Inc., a Canadian company which specializes in the manufacturing of logo flash drives. You can view his .

Custom Flash Drive Industry Price-Watch and General Branded USB Market News – March 15, 2019

Welcome to 2019.  The post-2016 era of flash drive prices rising upwards of over 40% are a distant memory, and manufacturing plants are pumping out more supply into the market than ever before.  We can’t believe it took them this long to get it right, but 3D NAND fabrication has finally picked up pace, causing a surge in supply which can only mean one thing:  Regularly decreasing prices as 2019 progresses.

3D NAND technology was meant to usher in a new world of faster, smaller, better.  While it has shown great promise in the SSD world, the promotional USB drive market has yet to reap the benefits of the complex architecture within these tiny chips, other than to say that we know for sure most of our supplied product are now coming in using this multi-level structuring.  

So what are we to expect for this year?  Other than a slow and steady decline in USB prices across the board, we are hopeful that access to larger memory and faster read/write speeds, especially within the USB 3.0 category.  This past month there has been a most notable decline in the cost of USB 3.0 chips in the COB (chip on board) sector between the sizes of 64GB and 128GB, and while USB prices usually surge slightly post Chinese New Year Festival, it seemed to have only affected a few specific memory sizes, and only temporarily as things have already settled back to pre CNY prices within those spots.

So be on the look out for some new USB 3.0 models to hit the category, and see some dips in prices by Q3 2019 in most of the USB 3.0 sizes within our custom USB family.  In short, we expect to see a greater number of users switch from USB 2.0 as their standard to USB 3.0, given the more reasonable access, from a price standpoint.

In addition, be on the lookout for new USB type-C flash drives to hit our site in the next couple of months.  Both dual (USB + USB type-C) memory stick sizes as well as USB type-C only custom flash drives, as this type of port comes standard on more and more new computers, laptops and tablets.

Oh, and did I mention we’re moments away from launching our new website?  Stay tuned – it’s going to be awesome!

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The USB memory industry has finally settled from a 2 year long high…

Since the fall of 2016 the NAND Flash and DRAM memory industry saw increases in supply commodities rise over 40% thus raising prices across the board for computer peripherals, portable devices, computer, laptops, and USB flash drives, both retail and promotional.  This was due, mainly to a massive crossover in the manufacturing process of NAND Flash memory as a brand new architecture (3D NAND) was introduced, causing factories to shut down nearly half of all production, as they made room for the new equipment.  What was supposed to be a small adjustment period of 2-3 months turned into a 2 year battle.

 

Early adoption of the new technology was a difficult road to hoe. In late 2014, when 3D NAND architecture was first introduced, major companies such as Intel, Micron, Samsung and Toshiba had announced that this new technology would allow manufacturing of an MLC-like memory chip which could cary as many as 96 layers vertically within the same horizontal (X,Y) space. Companies boasted that this new technology could potentially offer memory sizes to multiply upwards of 10x current limits on a single chip, and perform read/write tasks at over triple (3x) the speed.

 

It took until late 2016 for factories to ramp up their technology to begin the most basic manufacturing of this new transformative technology, which was sure to enhance the USB Flash market, even at entry-level production which was set to use a 48-layer 3D NAND product (Toshiba / Sandisk), but many problems and complications caused an alter-effect with would see prices rise significantly, while supply ran short world-wide.  It seems companies were more focussed on developing further towards the 96 layer goal, with the first 64-layer 3D NAND flash chips being produced in 2017.

 

The race to techno-supremacy is often littered with entire industries serving as cannon fodder. As these companies competed for the fastest and largest laptop sized SSD hard drives, service to the USB flash drive market suffered.  Add to that a silicon wafer shortage which came up only a few short months later, this spelled certain disaster. It’s been a long and arduous road…

 

Fast forward to 2018. 3D NAND flash is now widely used in many multi-layer configurations, account for over 60% of all bit layer production, and most recently Toshiba Memory, alongside of Western Digital have opened an entirely new 3D NAND Flash fabrication plant in China. Prices have been slowly (very slowly), but steadily coming down, the supply chain seems much healthier, and forecasts are good into the first 2 quarters of next year (2019) that prices will continue to remain within this or better ranges.

 

So basically, if you buy USB drives, whether it be for digital media presentation, or for promotional purposes (or both!), now is a much better time to buy than months ago, and the horizon looks healthy. Get your quotes updated today and see.

 

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Flash Drives

Time flies when you’re having fun, and it’s hard to believe we’ve been enjoying the convenience of flash drives for nearly two decades. We offer an extensive inventory of unique products that provide sufficient storage for:

  • Extensive school or work projects
  • Long video files
  • Up to 128 GB of material

Great for Promotional Purposes

Freebies that feature a business logo are a great tool to use in marketing, especially if you serve a local community. We can print on our Swivel USBs, Jet Setters, and some of our wood models as well as the Credit Card 001 USB models. This is a promotional item that won’t be tossed aside and forgotten.

Your company name will be on display every time the recipients accesses their files in public. Not to mention, they’ll probably be willing to tell people a little bit about the company that gave away such a cool gift.

Designed to Fit Your Style

Regardless of your needs, we have flash drive technology that’ll meet your style and personality. As you browse our extensive inventory, just a few of the options you’ll have to choose from include:

 

custom usb credit card drives

Designed to Make Life Easier Than You May Realize

We tend to associate flash drives with school and work, and they certainly make things more manageable in this respect. However, if you’ve never seen the need in your life for a flash drive, there are a few ways you could use one to make life easier. Just a few of these include:

  • Provides convenient and accessible storage for emergency information
  • Offers a great way to save pictures and other memorabilia for safekeeping
  • Offers great backup for important files if you don’t want to keep a paper file

Need your flash drive in a hurry? USB Direct offers 24-48 hour rush turn-around services on some of our most popular USB items. Get your new flash drive as early as tomorrow.

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Bluetooth Speakers

Did you know that music can increase productivity, efficiency, and overall happiness? While researchers argue the reasons behind the results, studies have shown that workers on assembly lines were able to improve their overall quality on-the-job when allowed to listen to music.

You’re no longer limited in listening ability based on the distance of the closest power outlet to enjoy the music that gets you motivated. Using Bluetooth technology, you can listen to your favorite jams on-the-go. No more CD players that skip and radio programs that are interrupted with three minute commercial breaks only to wait for a song you don’t even like. When you connect Bluetooth speakers, you can enjoy:

  • The ability to listen to the music you like right off your mobile device
  • Cord-free listening freedom
  • The ability to move your speaker wherever you want for best acoustics without having to worry about access to a power outlet

custom bluetooth speakers

Taking Music Enjoyment to a New Level

Bluetooth technology has been around since 1998, and innovators are coming up with exciting new ways to put it to use. If you aren’t using it, you probably have the capability and didn’t even realize it. If you go to your phone’s settings, you’ll probably see a Bluetooth option. Just turn it on, and available devices can be found and paired in just seconds.

Whether you’ve been using Bluetooth since its introduction two decades ago or are just getting on the bandwagon, we’re here to help you take your tunes with you wherever you go. Among our expansive inventory you’ll find:

There are so many ways technology has changed the world we live in, and we’re here to help you take full advantage of the many capabilities you have at your fingertips. Our range of Bluetooth speakers offers variety in color, style, and design, allowing you to personalize your order. You can even enjoy features like hands-free calling and microphones for ultimate convenience and effective time management.

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Power Banks at USB Direct

Power Banks

 

With new technological advancements continually being made, we’re able to enjoy more conveniences than ever before. Our mobile devices allow us to work on-the-go and stay connected. However, when the time comes to recharge, we’re often caught off guard. With a portable power bank, you’ll always be prepared.

Taking Mobility to a New Level with Charging On-the-Go

Portable chargers allow you to take mobility to a whole new level. While we typically have access to an outlet, there are times when we don’t. Whether you have an upcoming business trip requiring hours of travel time, are getting ready for a camping trip, or otherwise are away from standard electrical outlets, we have an extensive inventory of mobile chargers. You can also take advantage of:

  • A variety of colours and styles
  • Power banks with speakers
  • Solar energy capabilities

Save Money with Bulk Ordering

Are you a company in need of large quantities of portable charging devices? Save money with bulk orders. We have contacts with some of the most popular brands in the industry, and we sell at wholesale prices to meet your growing needs.

We understand each client comes with their own unique circumstances, and we don’t try to dictate your order by requiring unnecessarily large quantities. Our minimum quantity is only 25. This allows you to stay on budget and receive what you need and nothing more.

Stay Up-to-Date in an Ever-Changing World

As the world continues to introduce innovative new ways of working, it’s critical that you keep up. Portable power banks save time and money you’d otherwise waste in frustration every time you see that low-battery indicator signal at the most inconvenient times.

Our quality products put the power in your hands, quite literally. Whether you’re on an airplane, on the interstate, or in the middle of a power outage, you can successfully recharge the mobile devices most of us have become reliant on. Check out our expansive inventory. The variety in sizes, colours, and specialized themes can help you pick the product that best expresses your personality and style.

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OTG 3-in-One USB for All Mobile Devices

Few things are more frustrating than realizing you ran out of data on your mobile device, especially if you’re trying to capture important memories with the ones you love. The newly released OTG 3-in-one USB is made to work with all mobile devices, and it allows you to extend your phone or tablet’s memory.

Going Beyond File Storage

While it’s important to have room to save your pictures, videos, and other important files, this new product is capable of going above and beyond. With it, you can also back up your smartphones as well as clear up their memory. This allows for faster and smoother operation of your mobile device.

Warranty and Durability Expectations

When you invest in the OTG 3-in-one USB, you get the assurance in knowing it offers a five year warranty. This allows protection for you in the event there are basic problems with the product. When it’s taken care of properly, it’s capable of offering 40 years of use.


Features and Specifications

Let’s go ahead and break down a few of the features and specifications of this product so you have a good idea of what to expect:

  • Available Sizes- 4GB through 128GB in both USB 2.0 and 3.0 (8GB and up) speeds.
  • Lightning plug (Apple), micro-USB plug (Android/Blackberry) and a standard USB plug (desktop/laptop).
  • Lossless video
  • Latest Storage Technology

If you appreciate the advancements in technology and want to take advantage of some of the most innovative storage technology solutions, the OTG 3-in-one USB is a great investment. It’s produced by USB Direct, the number one USB supplier in Canada, and they have a good track record of providing quality products to their consumers.

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Credit Card USBs (and other flat models) are now available in USB 3.0

Most of us have used universal serial bus technology at some point. Whether using a flash drive to store files or a USB adapter to transfer files from one device to another, they allow us to work more efficiently and communicate with ease.

There have been a number of innovations in this area of technology, and we’re here to offer credit card USB’s and other flat models in USB 3.0. Before we get into the specifics on the various models available, let’s review a few facts to help you better understand your requirements as you shop for the one to best meet your unique needs.

· USB drives have two forms: regular full-sized and UDP (USB Disk in Package).
· UDP is much smaller, thin, and flat. It is also very durable – dust, moisture, and shock resistant
· UDP combines all the components of a normal USB drive (memory, controller, etc.) into one compact unit.
· All of our mini-flat USBs use UDP chips (e.g. Credit Card Drives).
· USB 3.0 is a newer version of the USB standard that allows data transfer at up to 10x the speed (referred to as SuperSpeed).
· Up until recently, USB 3.0 was only available in the full-sized form of USB drives.
· USB 3.0 is now available on UDP products. This means all of USBDirect.ca’s smallest drives can use SuperSpeed technology. This affects our entire Mini-Flat category including many popular USBs such as: Credit Card 01, Flat Key 01, and Mini-Me.
· Previously available USB drives remain unchanged and can still be produced: Swivel 01, The Titan, Jetsetter, etc.

Mini Flat Stick USBs

While USB sticks are capable of holding a lot of data considering their standard size, advancements have allowed for them to be made more compact than ever. Although our mini flat stick USBs are small, they are able to hold all the largest memory sizes. These products come with a five year warranty, and, when properly cared for, can last a lifetime.

Credit Card 3.0 USB

You can now store your USB with your credit cards in your purse or wallet! The credit card 3.0 USB allows you to enjoy full colour photos on each side, making it easy to spot when you need it. Within it, you have access to the fastest USB memory. It fits easily in your wallet and is available in:

Flat Key USB

Keep track of your USB on your keychain with our flat key USB. You’re able to customize your storage with options ranging from 1 to 64 GB, and it’s even great for promotional efforts as the surface of the key-shaped product has room for your logo. This can impress colleagues and clients alike.

Mini Me Circle USB

There are many new shapes and sizes of USBs on the market, and the Mini Me Circle USB has a unique design. It’s very small and made of metal, and this helps ensure good durability. Its high-tech look and rounded tip makes it an impressive way to store your data and save space in your laptop bag.

Swivel 01 USB Drive 3.0

We’re all unique, and the Swivel 01 USB drive 3.0 is available in green, red, blue and classic black. Its surface is very broad and brushed metallic, and this makes it simple to effectively add your logo for promotional campaigns. Whether you want to offer someone a unique and thoughtful gift or impress new potential clients, this can be a great way to shine. Data storage capacities range up to 64 GB depending on your unique needs.
custom usb flash drive

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3D NAND flash output set to expand in 2H17

3D NAND memory chips

 

Josephine Lien, Taipei; Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES [Tuesday 18 April 2017]

 

The global output of 3D NAND flash memory chips is set to expand substantially in the second half of 2017, and will exceed that of 2D NAND chips in the fourth quarter of the year, according to industry sources.

Major NAND flash suppliers including Samsung Electronics, Micron Technology and Toshiba have rolled out 64-layer 3D NAND flash products, said the sources. SK Hynix has even introduced what the company claims is the industry’s first 72-layer 3D NAND flash chips.

Nevertheless, yield rates for these major suppliers’ 3D NAND technology have been unstable since 2017, the sources pointed out. Meanwhile, as the chipmakers put increased focus on transitioning to 3D NAND, their output for 2D NAND has reduced substantially. As a result, the global supply of NAND flash memory has been tight since 2017, but the chip shortage is expected to ease in the second half of 2017, the sources said.

Samsung, which has relatively stable yield rates for 3D NAND technology, is expected to scale up its output of 3D NAND chips significantly between May and June, the sources indicated. The vendor will likely start operating a new plant in Pyeongtaek in July to further expand its 3D NAND production capacity.

Meanwhile, yield rates for other NAND flash vendors’ 3D NAND technology are set to improve substantially boosting their chip shipments in the second half of 2017, the sources indicated. Micron, for example, will start producing 64-layer 3D NAND chips in the second quarter with mass shipments ready for the second half of the year.

With major chipmakers gearing up for mass shipments, the global output of 3D NAND chips is expected to exceed that of 2D chips in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to the sources.

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USB Technology Making Breakthroughs in HIV Management

Whether you or someone you care about suffers with HIV, you know how frustrating it can be to wait days for lab results to come back. However, collaborative work that has been done by the Imperial College London and DNA Electronics, a tech company, offers new hope. With an impressive accuracy rating of 95 percent, they have created a USB device that can measure patient’s HIV levels in as soon as just 30 minutes.

Within the USB is placed a small chip, and this is used to detect the changes in acidity when an infected patient’s blood is placed on the device. The resulting electrical signal produces the results that are able to be read when the USB reader is connected to a computer or mobile device. In preliminary studies, the average amount of time it took to get a result was around 21 minutes.

When HIV was first discovered, it was highly unfamiliar, and it was feared to be a disease that offered no hope to anyone unfortunate enough to fall victim. However, what many fail to realize is that technology has allowed for those with HIV to enjoy normal lives with minimal complications. The important thing is that you keep track of the virus and understand it better.

Although this new technology has not yet hit the market, there are many reasons to be excited about it’s upcoming arrival. Aside from the fact that it’s so simple to use, it’s also a cost-effect way to monitor HIV. Furthermore, since the results come in so quickly, you can more effectively monitor how well your current medications are working to manage the illness.

You can live a normal life with HIV, and USB testing capabilities can put more power in your hands so you can keep HIV under control and live the quality of life you deserve.

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Headphone Jack Could Be Replaced By USB-C

Whether you have an older mp3 player or have advanced onto a smartphone or other type of mobile device, you likely are familiar with the headset jack. However, the 3.5 mm jack we’ve all become accustomed to could be a thing of the past. In a joint effort with LeEco, Intel is planning to introduce an innovative new product to the market. The new USB-C connector, they say, will offer a number of benefits for end users.

Trifecta of Smartphones

Intel has recently introduced the “trifecta of smartphones,” and they don’t include the standard port. Together with LeEco, they plan to create customer buzz in the development and an eventual shift toward the widespread use of their USB-C connector.

The Many Solutions

The Chinese company is confident they can convince users of the many benefits to the use of this new technology. For starters, the original headphone jacks were analog not multi-functional, and technology has largely surpassed this level of sophistication. Furthermore, the USB-C connector is capable of doing more than just allowing for the enjoyment of a digital connection. They can also use the device to take care of other tasks like charging machines including laptops.

The USB-C connector also offers users additional programmability and power, and this enables them to keep track of issues as important as their health. Various vital statistics including body temperature are able to be tracked and monitored, and Intel hopes to incorporate this potential into the growing industry of the development of fitness-tracking devices.

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