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How USB Flash Drive Works?

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🔌 Unlocking the Mysteries of USB Flash Drives 💽

Welcome back to Chrvoje Engineering, your gateway to the captivating world of technology. In this video, we’re delving into the intriguing mechanics of USB flash drives, those tiny devices with immense storage capabilities.

The Power of Data Storage: USB Flash Drives Unveiled 🌟

Imagine this: the very first supercomputer, the Cray-1, boasted a mere 8.39 megabytes of computer storage. But today, these minuscule USB flash drives can house data nearly 64,000 times their size, and they keep it intact for a decade without the need for electricity. How is this possible, you ask? Let’s explore.

Cracking the Code: How Data Finds Its Home 🔍

To comprehend the magic inside your USB flash drive, let’s start with the basics. Picture a container that has the power to store electrons. When currents flow, it retains electrons, representing ‘0.’ In the absence of current, it remains empty, signifying ‘1.’

The Inner Workings: Components of a USB Drive 💡

Venturing inside the USB drive, we encounter five essential components:

  1. Outer Cover: A protective shield for the internal circuitry, preventing damage.
  2. Connector Plug: The front end that connects to your device, such as the USB-A connector.
  3. NAND Flash Memory Chip: The heart of the device, where all your files and data reside.
  4. Controller Chip: An intermediary facilitating communication with your connected device.
  5. Crystal Oscillator: This tiny clock keeps everything in sync.

Unveiling the Marvel: The NAND Flash Memory Chip 🧩

Now, let’s unravel the secrets of the NAND flash memory chip. It’s a complex assembly of billions of FLOATING-GATE MOSFET TRANSISTORS, responsible for storing charges and enabling data storage. Within this chip, you’ll find two gates: the floating gate and the control gate, separated by a dielectric material. The control gate generates an electric field that either attracts or repels electrons. The floating gate serves as a container, trapping or releasing electrons. When an electron resides in the floating gate, it’s interpreted as ‘0,’ while its absence denotes ‘1.’

Reading and Writing: The Ingenious Process 📖✍️

But how do we determine the presence or absence of electrons within the Floating gate MOSFET? When an electron is present, the threshold voltage increases, blocking current flow through the substrate, and the bit is recorded as ‘0.’ Conversely, the absence of electrons allows current to flow through the transistor, resulting in a ‘1.’ Reading data is now clear, but how is data written? To store electrons, a relatively high voltage is applied across the transistor, increasing the velocity of electrons. The electric field from the control gate captures these electrons in the floating gates. Removing electrons involves applying the right voltage, where the electric field from the control gate pushes the electrons from the floating gate into the substrate. However, writing and erasing data carry a destructive effect on flash memory cells, limiting their read/write cycles.

The Blueprint: The Architecture of Flash Memory 🏗️

The architecture of flash memory consists of thousands of Floating-gate MOSFET transistors organized as pages. These pages are stacked to form blocks, allowing multiple blocks to read and write data simultaneously. When billions of these blocks unite, they create the NAND memory chip, silently storing thousands of your photos, videos, and songs for decades.

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✅ How USB Flash Drive Works – https://youtube.com/shorts/VsHuR7ty2rs


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00:00 –  @chrvoje_engineering INTRO
00:06 – USB Flash Drive Intro
00:26 – Quick Guide to USB Working Principle
00:38 – USB Flash Drive Main Parts (Outer Cover, Connector Plug USB-A, NAND Flash Memory Chip, Controller Chip, Crystal Oscillator)
01:48 – Working Principle of NAND Flash Memory Chip: How Mosfet Transistor Read and Write Data
02:55 – Construction of NAND Flash Memory Chip (Block, Page…)
03:19 –  @chrvoje_engineering  END


The research for this video took about one week. I found relevant information on the subject mainly on the Internet.
[1] Internet of Things
[2] HOW DOES FLASH DRIVE WORK?: https://howflashdriveworks.wordpress.com/how-does-flash-drive-work/


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