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 GB were frequently sold, while 512 GB and 1 TB units were less frequent As of 2018, 2 TB flash drives were the largest available in terms of storage capacitySome 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 transfer 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. Additionally, they are immune to electromagnetic interference (unlike floppy disks), and are unharmed by surface scratches (unlike CDs). Until about 2005, most desktop and laptop computers were supplied with floppy disk drives in addition to USB ports, but floppy disk drives became obsolete after widespread adoption of USB ports and the larger USB drive capacity compared to the 1.44 MB 3.5-inch floppy disk.