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A USB flash drive is a data storage device that includes flash memory with an integrated USB interface. It is typically removable, rewritable and much smaller than an optical disc. Most weigh less than 30 g (1 oz). Since first appearing on the market in late 2000, as with virtually all other computer memory devices, storage capacities have risen while prices have dropped.
As of March 2016, flash drives with anywhere from 8 to 256 gigabytes (GB were frequently sold, while 512 GB and 1 terabyte (TB units were less frequent. As of 2018, 2 TB flash drives were the largest available in terms of storage capacity. Some allow up to 100,000 write/erase cycles, depending on the exact type of memory chip used, and are thought to last between 10 and 100 years under normal circumstances (shelf storage time.
USB flash drives are often used for storage, data back-up and transferring of computer files. Compared with floppy disks or CDs, they are smaller, faster, have significantly more capacity, and are more durable due to a lack of moving parts.