USB Glossary

In case you are unfamiliar to the terms used when ordering a custom USB Drive, here are a few keys terms to read up on so you have a better understanding. For more information on the functionality, history and evolution of the USB key visit Wikipedia or

Artwork refers to the original files we need in order to perform the printing or laser engraving portion of your customized USB key order. The file formats approved for this are .eps (vector format), .ai (Adobe Illustrator) and .pdf (high resolution). For more information about printing details, visit our Custom USB FAQ section.

A special file or program that runs automatically when a CD, DVD, or USB disk is inserted into a computer. See our

COB, otherwise known as Chip-on-board flash memory is similar to an ordinary USB flash drive, but with one major exception - it can be produced at a much smaller size than traditional flash drives. To view our COB housed USB styles see our Miniature collection.

Custom Icon
A unique picture icon that is displayed instead of the standard disk drive icon in a computer.

Also known as a device driver, this can be one or more software files that must be installed on a computer system before a new hardware component (such as a printer, scanner, or USB drive) can be used.

Rush Service
A high priority production job for USB drives with a turnaround time of 24 to 72 hours. Available on select drive models only and at a supplemental cost.

Flash Memory
A computer storage chip that can be electrically erased and rewritten. It is primarily used in memory cards, USB flash drives, MP3 players and solid-state drives for general storage and transfer of data between computers and other digital products.

Gigabyte (GB)
A storage capacity equal to 1 billion bytes.

Heat Stamping
A thermal process where a die is heated and stamped into leather. Provides an appearance similar to embossing.

A piece of computer hardware that expands one USB port into multiple ports.

Laser Engraving
A permanent process whereby a high-powered laser is used to etch text or an image onto a USB drive. Is normally only available on metallic surfaces such as steel or aluminum.

Any artwork or text which is designated to be printed on a USB drive casing or body. Can be single-sided or double-sided depending on the style of the USB drive.

Multi-Level Cell (MLC) Memory
A slower and more popular type of flash memory chip that can be produced in an easier and more cost efficient way.

A type of flash memory (Solid State Drive) use to retain data integrity when a system loses power or is turned off. Commonly found in USB drives, MP3 players, smartphones, PC tablets and other technology related gadgets.

Data Preloading
The option of having your data loaded onto a USB drive in mass quantities. Fro more information, visit our Data Loading Services section.

Single-Level Cell (SLC) Memory
A fast and accurate memory chip found in high performance USB drives ; often identified by a higher price.

A USB style that features a built-in rotating cap instead of a removable cap. To see our swivel styles, visit our Swivel collection.

Turnaround Time
The total amount of time between placing an order and receiving the final product.

USB 1.1
The original specification is decreasing in usage due to more recent upgraded hardware versions, has a maximum reading speed of 12 Mbits (or 1.5 Megabytes per second).

USB 2.0
The newer specification, also know as the High Speed USB, comes with a maximum reading speed of 480 Mbits (or 60 Megabytes per second). Is probably the most commonly used USB standard today.

USB 3.0
An even newer specification also known as SuperSpeed USB, brings significant performance enhancements to the ubiquitous USB standard, while remaining compatible with the billions of USB enabled devices currently deployed in the market. SuperSpeed USB will deliver 10x the data transfer rate of Hi-Speed USB, as well as improved power efficiency. With an average
data transfer rate of 4-5GB/sec, it is by far the fastest USB so far.

Volume Label
The name assigned to a drive, which will show up in your computer’s disk manager (i.e. "My Computer" on Windows platforms and the "Finder" on Mac based systems).

Write Protected
Special protections that keep some or all of the files on a USB drive from being erased or deleted by the end user.