USB Flash drives or thumb drives have been around for years and are arguably the preferred method for storing information on the move in a small, convenient package.
A convenient, portable solution for data on the move
Flash drives have grown in capacity from megabytes to gigabytes as NAND flash technology has evolved, with the minimum consumer drives starting at 16GB and going as high as a massive 1TB. With the advancement of 3D NAND flash, USB manufacturers can increase capacities whilst keeping prices low, affording the consumer a wide variety of choice. However, there is still a strong requirement for low capacity flash drives for industrial applications that have unique performance characteristics, such as industrial grade NAND, wide operating temperature, firmware and power settings.
Choosing the right USB
A USB is a USB, right? To a degree, yes, but like anything, it depends on what you are using it for. Is it for storing non-sensitive information such as music files and photos or what if something more robust or secure needed – what are the options available? Simms provides a complete range of consumer, industrial and encrypted USB flash drives from leading manufacturers such as Kingston, Apricorn and ATP. Our team of experts can find and guide you through the options available to get the correct fit form and function.
Need help to find the right USB solution? Speak to our experts
The vast majority of USBs have no kind of security or encryption making them easy to view the contents. Many who find a USB will invariably plug it in, curious as to find out what information it holds. Sensitive information, nothing or worst case a virus that hacks your PC, phone or company network.
On the flip side, some devices have varying degrees of security and security standards to stop information from falling into the wrong hands. 126, 256-bit encryption AES, AXT, FIPS 140-2, FIP S197 are arguably the most common. Deciding which one is suitable for data at rest comes down to what information is being held on the device. Is it personal or business use, are back up pins or passwords required?
Read our Tech Talk blog to understand the different levels of encryption and security options available.
Technology & key differences
Industrial grade USB Flash drives are in many ways similar to their consumer cousins, however there some key differences:
- SiP – System in Package
- Operating temperature – wide operating temperature of between -40°C to 85°C
- SMART – software that monitors the health and lifespan of the USB
- Advanced wear leveling – ensures that the NAND flash blocks are used evenly to ensure no drop in performance
- Bad block management algorithm – software remaps the bad block and copies the data it contains to the block that will replace it
- Hot-swap supported – no need to power down to remove and insert the device and vice versa.
- SLC and MLC NAND flash – ideal for demanding applications with high programme erase cycles that consumer NAND