Flash memory was invented by Toshiba in 1984. The name was derived from the way the memory was erased, which was reminiscent of a camera "flash".
Even though flash memory was invented by Toshiba, the first commercial flash drive was released by Intel in 1988.
With the subsequent development of the USB standard , a flash drive was "married" to a USB socket, and this invention became known as the USB drive or USB Flash drive.
In early 2000, Trek Corporation was the first company to sell such a device. In late 2000, IBM was the first to sell a flash drive in North America. The IBM 8MB USB memory key became available on December 15, 2000.
Netal Technolgy of Shenzhen, China also holds a 1999 Chinese and 2004 US patent on USB flash technology which it has licensed to various manufacturers including the USB direct factory.
Continuing improvements in this technology now means that we can offer a 64GB model to our customers. This is 8,000 times larger than the original IBM USB!
In this time there have been 3 USB standards.