history of USB flash drives

The History of USB Flash Drives

At one point or another, USB Flash Drives have been part of our daily lives. These durable portable devices allow us to carry important data in our pockets, making them incredibly convenient and versatile. But have you ever wondered how these handy tools came into existence? The history of the USB flash drive is a fascinating journey that dates back to the late 1990s.

Before the USB flash drive, portable data storage primarily relied on floppy disks and CDs. These storage mediums had their limitations, floppy disks were fragile, had limited capacity, and became obsolete quickly. Meanwhile, CDs were bulkier and not rewritable. There was a growing need for a more compact, durable, and reusable storage solution. Hence, the USB flash drive was created.

The First Flash Drive

History of the USB flash drive - USB Memory Direct

There is always been debates about where the USB flash drive came from. In 1999, an Israeli company named M-Systems, led by engineer Dov Moran, introduced the DiskOnKey, the world's first USB flash drive. Pua Khein-Seng, CEO of Taiwan-based Phison Electronics Corporation, claims he invented the flash drive in 1999. The device was groundbreaking, offering 8MB of storage, which was a significant improvement over the floppy disk's capacity. It connected to computers via the universal serial bus (USB) port, which was becoming increasingly common.

However, at the same time, IBM sent an invention disclosure to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Employee Shimon Shmueli did this. Trek 2000 International, a tech company based in Singapore, was the first to actually sell a USB flash drive, which it called a thumb drive. A company based in China called Netac also claims to have invented the USB flash drive in 1999.

As you can see, many companies worldwide have claimed they were the creators of this unique product. Various companies have attempted to patent the USB flash drive. Likely, most of these claimants independently developed their USB flash drives, therefore claiming they created the flash drive. It will never be known who the first person to create the flash drive really was.

Flash Drives Today

Regardless of who created it, USB flash drives have come a long way. Flash drives can be helpful for students at school, adults in their jobs, and even good to promote your business. They are suited for every port type, such as Type-C, lightning, etc. Now, you can get a USB drive with over 512GB of storage, which is a massive increase from the 8MB it initially started with. They also come in different shapes and sizes. Flash drives are a great option for keeping your data secure.

About the author:
Julian Melo
Marketing Associate
I am a Communications Major currently pursuing my Masters's degree in the Science Of Marketing. I am a Marketing Associate here at USB Memory Direct. I mainly focus on SEO, Partnership Coordinating, and creating these blogs where we talk about technology, marketing, and everything USB.