A USB flash drive is a data storage device that includes flash memory with an integrated Universal Serial Bus (USB) interface. USB flash drives are typically removable and rewritable, and physically much smaller than a floppy disk. Most weigh less than 30 g.
Amazing USB Flash Drives Design Transforming 2GB
As of September 2011 drives of 256 gigabytes (GB) are available,Storage capacities as large as 2 terabytes are planned, with steady improvements in size and price per capacity expected. Some allow up to 100,000 write/erase cycles, depending on the exact type of memory chip used, and a 10 year shelf storage time.
USB flash drives are often used for the same purposes for which floppy disks or CD-ROMs were used. They are smaller, faster, have thousands of times more capacity, and are more durable and reliable because they have no moving parts.
Until approximately 2005, most desktop and laptop computers were supplied with floppy disk drives, but floppy disk drives have been abandoned in favor of USB ports.
USB flash drives use the USB mass storage standard, supported natively by modern operating systems such as Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, and other Unix-like systems, as well as many BIOS boot ROMs. USB drives with USB 2.0 support can store more data and transfer faster than much larger optical disc drives like CD-RW or DVD-RW drives and can be read by many other systems such as the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, DVD players and in some upcoming mobile smartphones.