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  April 30, 2008

What Flash Memory are Used in Promotional USB’s?


There are two types of NAND Flash memory architectures: MLC(Multi Level Cell) and SLC(Single Level Cell).

In a nutshell, MLC are used in those devices requiring high performance at an attractive cost such as USB sticks and voice recorders.

SLC are used in the higher performing technology that is used to enable streaming video and Internet capability in handheld electronics such as 3G cell phones, PDAs, digital still / video cameras and MP3 players etc.

All our branded USB drives use MLC memory from Hynix, Samsung or Micron unless otherwise specified. MLC NAND Flash is rated to last approximately 10,000 cycles, which is considered more than sufficient for the average consumer application.

For example, a USB drive application that used the 10,000 write/erase cycles would enable the user to completely write and erase the entire contents once per day for 27 years, well beyond the life of the hardware.

We would also like to warn people about companies offering VERY cheap flash drives. Although many of the products appear same, the inside might be VERY different.

We spend a significant amount of resources in quality control and service. Therefore, our product prices are never the lowest in the industry. We want to give you some facts so that you can better protect your rights and investments.

In general there are four methods to dramatically lower the production cost of the USB flash disks. Unfortunately whichever method or combinations are used, product quality is sacrificed. These methods are usually some of the following:

  • Use faulty or recycled flash memory chips, which might cause read and write errors
  • Change flash memory chip volume information so that the lower capacity chips appear to be higher capacity (e.g. from 256MB to 512MB)
  • Use faulty designed PCBs, which might cause severe electromagnetic interference
  • Use faulty designed controller chips, which might cause compatibility problems when using flash disks under different operating systems

Whenever these methods are applied, you can expect problems such as users being unable to save onto the flash disk, or read and copy from the flash disk. It often occurs that operating systems can’t recognise the flash disk, I/O error messages occur, and storage capacity diminishes as the time passes.

By choosing USB Company, you can rest assured none of these will occur.