What's in a USB memory stick?

Discussion in 'Computing and Networks' started by Alec_t, May 31, 2016.

  1. Alec_t

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 17, 2013
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    An old USB1 memory stick died, so I was curious to see just what was in it.
    One side of the pcb contains the main 2GB memory array (a Samsung chip)
    USB-drive2.jpg
    The other side contains the micro (U3), together with its crystal (U6), for doing the housekeeping. There is also an unpopulated space for another memory array.
    USB-drive1.jpg
    Amazing. No doubt a more modern stick would be even more impressive.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2016
  2. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
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    Braggart! ;)

    Here's mine:
    upload_2016-5-31_10-25-27.png

    Maybe I'll get another one next year.

    John
     
  3. dl324

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    Mar 30, 2015
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    All NAND FLASH storage devices need to have a microcontroller to implement ECC, bad block marking, and wear leveling. To keep the FLASH devices inexpensive, they have to tolerate manufacturing defects.

    The innards of a 64GB MicroSD card would be interesting to see.
     
  4. Alec_t

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 17, 2013
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    ... and a challenge to photograph clearly with the average camera!
     
  5. ISB123

    Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2014
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    Just open up an SSD then you wont need a better camera :D.
     
  6. dl324

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    My first USB FLASH drive was 64MB. I paid $30. That will get you about 1000X more storage now.
     
  7. Alec_t

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    I'm not playing the "mine is bigger than yours" game :D.
     
  8. prof328

    New Member

    Apr 15, 2016
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    No no in electronics the kudos is "mine is smaller than yours" lol.
     
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  9. Marley

    Member

    Apr 4, 2016
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    What is interesting is that your 2GB memory chip contains 2G = 2,147,483,648 bytes. Or 17,179,869,184 bits (approximately).
    How much chip area is available for each bit? Don't forget a lot of the chip area is used for interconnections and decode/programming logic.

    And 2GB is fairly small by today's standards!
     
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