Tag Archives: history

The History Of Flash Memory Devices

In the past, data storage was an issue for computer users who wanted to save excess files or programs from their computers. The only options available were to save files to floppy disks, burn them to CD or save files to external hard drives. This all changed when flash memory came into the picture. With flash memory the whole concept of data storage has changed.

How Do Flash Memory Devices Work?

Unlike old school storage devices that made use of mechanical parts or other types of parts for reading, writing and erasing data flash memory makes use of an electrical charge to perform read and write operations. The USB flash drive is the device that has become the choice of many people for data storage. With the USB flash drive all you have to do is plug it into the USB port on your computer, laptop or handheld device and you will enjoy the convenience of having the same amount of space (or better) that your computer’s hard drive has to offer.


Flash memory devices are made possible thanks to the advances in microprocessor technology. The average flash drive has a PC based EEPROM memory system that is often its own dedicated microprocessor. With the development of high speed serial data interfaces like USB, flash memory devices have become more common place to computer users and even many affordable MP3 players are made using a standard flash memory control processor.

If you were to crack open the average flash memory device you would see a small printed circuit board that has power circuitry and a small number of integrated circuits mounted on it. The integrated circuits interface with the USB port and drive the outboard memory.

The average flash memory device may seem like a simple piece of technology but early on it faced an uphill battle getting released to the public with several major companies from filing lawsuits against each other in courts worldwide due to patent claims. Thankfully those lawsuits were resolved and computer users are able to enjoy the convenience of flash memory devices today.

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The History Of The USB

In 2011 every laptop and PC has more than one USB port to plug in printers, scanners and other portable USB devices but it wasn’t always this easy. Back in the 1990’s many cables were required to connect printers and other portable devices to serial ports and parallel ports compared to today where you can easily connect a USB cable to your device and then plug it into your computers USB port.


To solve the complex problem of connecting multiple devices to computers the Universal Serial Bus was created in the early 1990’s to provide a standardization of all the different connection interfaces. The first USB was introduced in 1996 and the first widely used USB device was released in September 1998. This device had a 12 Mbit/s data transfer rate for higher speed devices and a lower data transfer rate for low bandwidth devices like joysticks.

Unlike the wide variety of older connections on computers USB connectors also supply power too which eliminates the need for an extra power cable behind a computer users’ desk.

How It Changed The World

If you watch any movie from the late 1980s to early 1990’s it almost seems funny to see people saving data to big floppy disks and large portable hard drives. The Universal Serial Bus (USB) has made life a lot easier for the average computer user and made it easy for anyone to save data on the go and use their portable devices at the drop of a hat. Even though the USB was designed for personal computers it has also become commonplace on other handheld devices like smart phones and video game consoles. Thanks to the USB you can easily connect mice, keyboards, printers, personal media players, network adapters and more.

By 2008 over 2 billion USB enabled devices were being sold per year.

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