The time has gone when our techies used 5.25 inches floppy disks to store little data and it required floppy disk drives (FDD) for read and write operations. Now storage works like magic with the arrival of ‘Pen drive’.

Pen drive can easily be plugged into a computer’s USB port and the term ‘pen’ describes its size. They have storage capacity ranging from 64 MB to 256 GB. Nowadays techies purchase them as replacement for CD-R or floppy disks. There is no restriction on type of data that we store into them. I feel that most of us are aware of this information and have come here to get a detailed introduction on this topic.

Picture of a Pen Drive

Structure and Working of Pen Drive

Pen drives consists of a small printed circuit board. This circuit board provides a solid base for pen drive’s form and serves as a medium to collect information. The circuit board consists of a small “microchip within it, which enables pen drive to extract data. All this process requires low electric power when compared to CD-R and floppy disk. Technically it is based on EEPROM that allows writing and erasure process all together in the computer system.

Actually pen drive requires a software program which connect it to the computer, and perform data read, data transmission and data copy operations. For example, when we connect an iPhone to a computer, we requires iTunes (which is a software program in this case) to copy music and video files from our PC to iPhone and vice versa. So we conclude that programs like iTunes provides interface for pen drives to exchange information.

The internal circuitry of the pen drive draws power from computer in order to perform its operations.

Important parts of pen drive includes: USB connector, crystal oscillator, memory chips and a controller to interact with a computer.

When we connect a pen drive to a computer, it activates automatically and is ready to use. Otherwise, it remains in dormant (inactive) phase.

Today specialised tech companies are working to improve pen drives and are trying to eliminate issues that limit its uses. Several improvements have been done over original USB drives. We have nowadays shifted to USB 3.0 pen drives which although persists backward compatibility of USB 2.0, and gives data transfer rate up to 640 Mbps theoretically which is ten times faster than USB 2.0. Practically USB 3.0 pen with speed up to 120Mbps are easily available in market. Although for smaller files, it is limited to 10% of its actual speed.

So we have taken a brief understanding of the actual working of pen drives and I hope it helps you all.

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