HOW DOES FLASH DRIVE WORK?
The NAND flash memory chip is the core of the flash drive. Our information is stored on it. In order to appreciate its technology, we must understand a few concepts.
In layman terms, memory is an object that allows us to “selectively store or selectively retrieve … bits of information” (Cressler 142). There are essentially two basic forms of electronic memory (ibid):
1 Hard disk drive memory
2 Transistor-based semiconductor memories
The flash drive belongs to the second category of memories. How do we know this? Essentially, the hard disk drive contains movable parts. That’s why our computer’s hard disk drive makes sounds and we can feel it moving when we put our hands on the computer’s metal casing. ‘Transistors’ however operate electrically. This means that we don’t need moving parts and the flash drives becomes more durable and sturdy. Think about it: you can drop a flash drive without worrying that you’ll lose data as compared to dropping a laptop.
There are also two types of electronic memories:
1 Volatile (temporary)
2 Non-Volatile (semipermanent)
Volatile memory means that it is temporary. Once the power is cut off, the data stored disappears.Non-volatile means that the information saved on the chip will not disappear if there is no longer power running the flash drive. (Think of technologies like the television that requires a constant power source in order for it to operate. If you turn off the power source, we immediately lose the images and sounds.)
Essentially, the flash drive memory is transistor-based and non-volatile. The flash drive, therefore, has no moving parts and information stored on the NAND flash memory chip remains semi-permanently (until you delete/edit the file).