We are all very used to our pendrives and we think we could not live without them, but the truth is that they were created very few years ago. Never the less, its story is very complete and interesting, let’s learn a little more about it!
The first generation of USB was created in 1996 thanks to the association of several companies among which we can find IBM, Telecom or Microsoft. This pendrive is known as USB 1.0.
In 1998 IBM invented a new USB in order to substitute the diskettes in its new product: ThinkPad. Surprisingly IBM did not register this patent and, as IBM hired M-Systems to develop this invention, it still belongs to M-Systems.
In this way, M-Systems produced and commercialized the firsts USB in four different sizes: 8Mb, 16Mb, 32Mb and 64Mb. This product was sold during a long period of time and it was also developed until the size of 256Mb. M-Systems commercialized these products under the brand “Disgo” and they where the only pendrives in the market but, as you may already have imagined, some Asian companies developed cheaper copies in a short period of time.
These pendrives are also called the second generation of USB although they do not really use the 480Mb completely due to some limitations on its technique specifications.
This type of USB are much slower than hard drives corresponding to the same times. Some of them can read data at 30Mb and write data at only 15Mb. You may think it is too slow, but you should take into account that it is about 20 times faster than the one USB 1.0 had. These pendrives were really fast at that time and they used a double channel for the first time in order to be faster.
At the end of 2008 the third generation of pendrives was announced but it did not arrive to the market until the beginning of 2010.
With the arrival of USB 3.0 the speed of this type of devices was absolutely better and users were really happy. Besides, these pendrives were compatible with USB 2.0 ports.
USB 3.0 has a speed of tranfer of 5 Gb, a very important improvement if we compare it with the previous generation. The problem is that since 2011 USB 3.0 flash cannot use all its interface’s capacity because of the limitations its memory controllers have. In order to solve this problem some brands launched new controllers for the memory channels of USB devices.
If we compare the storage capacity of USB 3.0 and USB 1.0, the latests version is 1024 times bigger, that means 256GiB of memory.
Pendrives of the third generation are not only used as external hardware, they are also used in some other devices, such as wireless optical mouses, as an accessory.
The forth generation of pendrives is much faster, note that it can transfer data at 10 Gbps. But it has some other improvements such as its small size, the possibility of tranfering up to 100 watts of energy (something which opens the door to many other possibilities of use) or the fact that it is reversible.
We do not know what is coming next, but we are sure that it will be incredible!