Category Archives: USB Technology

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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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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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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Have Some Fun with Your USB Flash Drive

 

transformer_usb_flash_drive_16g_ravageUSB flash drives are everywhere you turn. They have become a necessary part of a society where mobile devices rule the world. They can store information, help us download programs, keep our pictures safer than a photo album… They are basically indispensable. But… do you want to have some real fun with your USB flash drive?

Take Your Basic, Boring Flash Drive and…

You can buy custom-made USB flash drives in various memory capacities.  And that’s awesome if you need a promotional item, gifts for a large number of people, etc.  But what if you have a common, everyday USB drive and you want to kick it up a notch?  There are some awesome ideas for doing exactly that all over YouTube.  It’s inexpensive for the most part and only requires couple of household items/supplies.

Five Creative Ideas for a Custom USB Flash Drive

The following are just a handful of suggestions concerning what can be done to spice up the life of your tired old USB flash drive.  Immediately following this list is the link to how they will look when finished: a Lego piece, a circuit board design, a pink eraser, a seemingly ‘broken’ USB cord and an old floppy disk.  Click here.

The inside of the flash drive is what’s important.  Basically you are simply taking that out of its old boring container and putting it into a new and exciting design.

 

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Don’t Stick That in There – You Don’t Know Where It’s Been!

 

usb-stick-1280px-922px0There is a form of computer terrorism making the rounds that involves the use of USB plug-ins.  Now before you get all worked up, no one is saying that USB plug-ins are a bad thing.  On the contrary, they are an extremely good thing.  But as with most everything in this world, it just takes one moron to turn something good into something bad.  And sadly, the trend usually catches on.  The following is a little something for the astute computer user to watch for.

Hey, Look What I Found… A USB Plug-In!

Now, if you’re at an Expo or have been handed a promotional USB plug-in by someone reputable, that’s not a problem.  “I found” might be good when it comes to a $20 bill, but not so much when it comes to a USB drive.  Apparently, someone uploaded a less than desirable program onto a bunch of USB flash drives and then scattered them all over a public building.  What ensued was nothing short of organized chaos when people picked them up and absently plugged them into their work computer.  A natural reaction.  Sadly, these USB flash drives proceeded to download their undesirable program onto these work computers.  Oops.

Don’t Be Taken In

Again, USB flash drives are a very popular promotional item and when used as such can be extremely beneficial to the receiver and to the company giving them away.  Leave it to one bad apple to spoil the whole bunch and in this case, unless you’re sure where that USB flash drive is coming, from you may want to avoid using it.  It’s the age old adage – if something seems too good to be true… It probably is.  Finding a $20 bill – awesome.  Finding a seemingly harmless, discarded USB drive and plugging it in, even if it’s way cool looking – guess again.

ALERT!!  Did you believe this story?  Well it is only partially true.  In actuality this was a stunt pulled by the powers that be in homeland security.  An experiment or test if you will.  Sadly, most people failed the exam.

 

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Don’t Throw Out Your Old USB Cables

 

usb_tYes, it’s true, modern technology has finally found a way to end the frustratingly monotonous occurrence that plagues most anyone that has ever used a USB cable for anything.  When was the last time you tried to plug in a USB cable and actually got it right on the first attempt?  No, not upside down.  The new Type C USB cable will end everyone’s frustration in that category.  But will it give cause to new frustration?

The Type C USB Cord – New and Improved?

Yes, in essence, this new USB cable is going to be an improvement over the old, never changing, 1990s model.  It will be reversible, load data faster, withstand higher wattages and reportedly be adaptable to all future updates.  That’s all well and good but guess what… You can’t use it in your current mobile device.  That’s right.  This new USB cable will require a new USB port.  And you know what that means…

Can You Afford All New Mobile Devices?

Of course you only have to get all new mobile devices if you want to use the new and improved Type C USB cable.  The question arose “what will happen with all of the old USB cords?”  Manufacturers are claiming that the new USB port will not completely and totally replace the old USB port but will be an added feature on newly designed mobile devices.  This means you can still use your old USB cords, even in the devices that contain new USB ports.

You might want to stop at your nearest store and snatch up all the USB cables that you can carry.  You find them these days as impulse items at the checkout counters for next to nothing.  Something’s going to change very soon when it comes to the pricing of USB cables… Mark my words.  Of course you can always make your own adaptable USB cable.

 

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USB Cables As Impulse Items

 

usbtypecconnectorSurely you’ve seen them at the checkout counter.  Lately, I was in a CVS drugstore picking up a few odds and ends and I spotted USB cables at the checkout for just a few dollars each.  Naturally, I had to grab one because I actually was having problems with one of my USB cables used to charge my cell phone.  With the new Type C USB cable ready to launch later this year, will the old USB cable still be seen as an impulse item?

How Will Pricing Compare?

It’s hard to believe that these new USB cables will be as inexpensive, affordable, cheap, what have you, as the current USB cables.  Something new and improved is never cheap, as a rule.  It’s going to be quite some time before all of your mobile devices incorporate the new USB ports, so what will that do to the sales of the old USB cables?  Will there be a surge in sales to snatch them all up before they become extinct?  Will people stop buying them altogether?

Don’t Be so Quick To Discard Your Old USB

A new USB cord means new USB ports.  New USB ports means that all of the devices you now have in your possession are going to be obsolete – at least when it comes to using the new and improved USB cables.  Cell phones, laptops and smart tablets have not yet gone the way of existing USB cords – that is, found at the checkout counter as impulse items.  Though with everyone needing to buy new mobile devices in order to accommodate the new cords, will the sale of devices containing the old USB ports plummet?

It seems nothing can ever be simple.  Though the new Type C USB cable will be compatible with all updates, our current devices are anything but compatible with this updated USB cord. So now what?

 

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