With a boom in digital technology applications, a host of new computer storage devices have hit the market elevating the concept of portable computer storage to a whole new level. With a host of products with different brand names hitting the market, identifying a particular technology can be confusing, due to the different brand names used for it. One such popular misconception is the comparison between jump and flash drives, which arises due to the confusion created by various brand names. There are no differences between jump drives and flash drives, as they refer to one and the same thing, which is USB flash drive technology.
Jump Drive Vs. Flash Drive Vs. Thumb Drive
Naming things rightly and making their semantic connection correctly is important; particularly when they refer to technological devices. So this is to declare that the comparison between jump, flash and thumb drives is irrelevant and meaningless because they refer to the same device and the difference between them is purely etymological. They refer to the same computer memory devices.
Thumb drive is another name given to the standard USB flash drive devices by some people. However the underlying technology that makes this possible is ingenious and in fact the same for all. In the rest of the article I discuss the features of USB flash drive technology that make it the complete data storage solution.
Features of USB Flash Drive Technology
The 'Flash' in flash drives refers to the flash data memory card technology that it is built on. It is based on modified EEPROM (Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory) technology and innovation in microprocessor technology. Flash drives, as you might know, are very small devices; lesser in length than a ring finger and weighing less than 3 gm. They come with an attached USB (Universal Serial Bus) interface that makes their connection to computers possible.
Once you connect a USB flash device to a computer, by inserting it in a USB port, the operating system recognizes it as a bulk mass storage device and identifies it as a storage 'drive'. Any data stored on the computer can be transferred to the flash drive for storage. These drives have a storage capacity ranging from 1 GB to about 256 GB currently. After storing or transfer of data from the drive, you can detach it and transfer it to any other computer terminal.
Data can be rapidly read and erased from these devices in a matter of seconds. The arrival of simple, portable, high capacity storage drives like Flash drives, DVDs ended the reign of older, slower storage devices like floppies. Flash drives consume low power and have a long retention capacity. They don't need an external power source, as they derive it directly from the USB port. The 'drive' in the name of this device is etymologically vestigial in nature as the flash drive has no mechanical parts that are driven like those in hard disks. Their USP is high reading and writing speed, besides amazing portability, coupled with data transfer rate. Most flash drives promise a shelf life up to 10 years and provide about 100,000 write/erase cycles over their life time.
Hope this article has effectively cleared out the confusion and now you know that they are just names given to the same thing. It is important that one is clear about such simple differences in technological jargon.