A USB flash drive is a small storage device that can be used to store, back up, and transfer data from one computer to another. A flash drive comprises a small PCB (printed circuit board) carrying the circuit elements covered inside a plastic, metal, or rubber case, and a USB connector protruding from the end of the flash drive which users connect to the USB port of the device.
The main components of the USB flash drive are:
-Standard USB Plug/Connector, which provides a connection between the flash drive and a device.
-USB Mass Storage Controller Device, a microcontroller for the USB.
-NAND Flash Memory Chip, storing the data.
-Crystal Oscillator, controlling data output.
-Cover, which protects the delicate components within the body of the thumb drive.
Most flash drives come with a USB A connector to make them compatible with standard receptacles with which common devices are equipped. They can also be available as Type-B, Mini USB, Micro USB, Type-C, and lightning.
USB Type-A connector is flat and has a rectangular interface, making the connection to devices easier than round pins. USB 3.1 and USB 3.0 Type-A connectors are colored blue inside with a data transfer rate of up to 10Gb/s and 5Gb/s respectively. USB 2.0 Type-A and USB 1.1 Type-A connectors are often, but not always, black, with lower transfer speed compared with USB 3.0. USB flash drives with Type-A connectors are now commonly used on computers, gaming consoles, and media players.
Micro-USB connector is not very common and nearly square in shape. Some are with a slight rounding and some are with a large square protrusion on the top. USB 3.0 Type B connectors are often blue while USB 2.0 Type B and USB 1.1 Type B connectors are often black. USB flash drives with Type-B connectors are most served for printers, scanners, routers, and so on.
Type-C connector also referred to as USB-C, features a slimmer design in appearance that both ends are completely identical, eliminating the frustrations of upside-down errors which basically means that you can plug in your device correctly every time the very first try. Most USB-C interfaces are built on the USB 3.1 data-transfer standard. The second-generation USB 3.1 can theoretically deliver data speeds of up to 10Gbps — twice as fast as USB 3.0 and first-gen USB 3.1, which both top out at 5Gbps. USB-C flash drives could directly connect with laptops, games consoles, smartphones, tablets, and the MacBook that have a USB-C port to store and transfer photos, music, movies, or gaming apps. Since the Type-C jump drive plug is reversible, you can plug it in either way – upside down or right side up, quite convenient.
Lightning connector is created and designed by Apple company which can also be inserted either face-up or face down, and lightning USB flash drives are made exclusively for Apple iPhone or iPad’s unique Lighting port. You could connect a lightning flash drive to iPhone or iPad directly to save more space, add movies, move large files, or back up data.
Currently, some USB flash drives are designed with two or three different types of USB connectors, e.g. USB-A and micro-USB/USB-C/lightning connectors in one single flash drive, which allows you to transfer files seamlessly with computers and smartphones. If you own devices with different types of connectors, then one dual flash drive would be your best choice.