Discover what's inside a USB flash drive

A USB flash drive is a mass archiving system that enables you to easily transfer data between several devices as a result of a universal serial bus (USB) interface. Due to its compact size, easy to use, and increased size of internal memory, the USB flash drive is the perfect instrument to transport and transmit data.

PCBA or COB?
Here are the different types of Chips.

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Prices, certificates, special features

The price for flash drives changes daily according to the market trend based on supply and demand, as with most popular commodities exchanges. On the one hand, manufacturers (Samsung, Hynix, Intel, Toshiba, Micron) must maintain the right level of supply on the market, and, on the other hand, many multinational companies like Apple, Sony and Nokia have the ability to modify prices of memory devices as a result of order settlements that can absorb a large part of the chips on the market. The price of USB flash drives thus changes according to the Flash memory price trend, since the chip is the main item that costs and affects between 50% and 80% of the total. The price trend of memory chips can be constantly monitored by registering at the website www.dramexchange.com (category “Flash Spot Price”).

High innovation production processes are used to design Maikii USB flash drives, which guarantee maximum quality standards. All our products are certified by CE, FCC, REACH and RoHS. The body of our USB flash drives are all eco-friendly. We are members of the consortium WEEE for electronic and electric waste collection.

 

Our certificates are released by SGS, an international institution having its head office in Geneva and international leader of inspection, verification, control and certification services of production processes on electronic products. Since 2009, we have entered into an agreement with SGS to constantly control Maikii production processes. This is further proof that attention to quality is our most significant commitment.

There are various types of drives and connectors in the USB stick market. COB (Chip on Board) enables the assembly of USB stick components in the smallest of spaces. This also makes it possible to reach a faster reading and writing speed. In addition to “technological” improvements, COBs are resistant to water and impact and, thanks to their size, they can be used to create smaller USB sticks.

What distinguishes quality products?

Maikii quality

To guarantee quality of our products, Maikii exclusively uses Brand memories, meaning products from one of the four leading manufacturing companies: Samsung, Hynix, Toshiba, Intel and Micron. The high quality of these memory chips is translated into actual high capacity of the USB flash drive, as specified in the table.

CapacityActual capacity guaranteed
512 MBMore than 480 MB
1 GBMore than 960 MB
2 GBMore than 1920 MB
4 GBMore than 3800 MB
8 GBMore than 7800 MB
16 GBMore than 15000 MB

Another essential feature is represented by the reading and writing speed of the chip, which is usually between 3-6MB/s for writing and between 12-16MB/s for reading. Performance does not only depend on the memory chip, but also by the “controller”, another essential part of USB flash drives. This is the reason why Maikii only uses controllers made in Taiwan by manufacturers like Alcor, Ite, Smi and Phison. Using these memory chips enables us to offer a life-long guarantee on all products, with free replacement of non-operating parts.

No Brand Chip

Maikii has undertaken not to use the so-called “White Chip”, which means memory chips from small manufacturers with lower standards and prices. The quality, duration and speed are much lower compared to Brand products. Another important difference consists in the actual ability of the product, as explained in the table below. Lastly, the price for this type of memory chip is less than a Brand chip, however, a lot also depends on market availability at that particular time of reference since available quantities are often limited.

CapacityActual capacity guaranteed
512 MBLess than 470 MB
1 GBLess than 950 MB
2 GBLess than 1900 MB
4 GBLess than 3570 MB
8 GBLess than 7750 MB
16 GBLess than 14800 MB
The illegals!

The current market, especially when price is considered rather than quality, is witnessing Upgrade Chip sales, which are poor quality. These chips contain damaged memory cells as a result of their production process, which thus decreases the actual usable memory. After formatting them several times, chip manufacturers place them back on the market with

lower usable capacity. However, some USB flash drive manufacturers manage to reactivate the damaged cells through new formatting techniques, making them seem operational. This increases the capacity detected by the PC, which will also save data in the non-operational cells, thus causing lost data.

The sale of Upgrade Chips is clearly a scam and is thus considered illegal.