A Miniature Card is a form of portable memory that was developed for use in small electronic devices, such as smart phones and similar hardware. Often developed as flash memory, these cards could be used to add internal storage to such devices. There were also models available that consisted of volatile formats, however, which would increase the processing power and memory of the device, but not the permanent storage of it. Although popular in some devices, the Miniature Card was not adopted as widely as other forms of flash memory and storage, such as SmartMemory® and CompactFlash®.
One of the most common ways in which a Miniature Card is designed is as a form of flash memory that can retain data even without power. This is referred to as "non-volatile memory" and is often used for internal data storage on devices like mobile phones and laptop computers. The small size of a Miniature Card makes it ideal for this use, and such cards can quickly and easily be added or removed from a device. While these cards do not have the storage capacity of a larger hard drive, they can be used to easily add a small amount of memory to a device that does not require a great deal of space for information.
A Miniature Card can also be used as a form of volatile memory, which means that it retains data only as long as it has power. In this way, such a card effectively acts as a form of Random Access Memory (RAM) that is used to process programs or data on a device. Many small electronics, such as a mobile phone, do not require a great deal of RAM, and the size of a Miniature Card makes it ideal for these purposes. There are other types of hardware that can be used for data storage, however, which have become increasingly popular.
Formats such as SmartMemory® are often used in smart phones and similar devices, including some digital cameras, for fast and easy data storage. These types of cards can quickly be removed from a device to transfer data to other pieces of hardware. CompactFlash® is also more commonly used than a Miniature Card, and can provide a great deal of memory in a very small format. There are certain devices and card readers that can be used to access data on multiple formats, though these are fairly uncommon and are typically used only in specialized applications.