Miniature Card Bus

Miniature Card Bus Description

PCMCIA Miniature Card: Miniature Card is a smaller implementation of PCMCIA, developed around 1995.
The Miniature Cards dimensions: 3.5mm x 33mm x 38mm (Tall x Length x Width).
The electrical specifications are a subset of the PC Card standard, restricted to memory applications only.
Miniature Card uses a 16-bit data bus and a 24-bit address bus to allow a single card to store up to 64MB.
Miniature Card is used as a memory-only expansion card or Linear Flash interface.
A Miniature Card Supports addressing up to 64M Bytes of Flash, DRAM [32M words], or ROM memory and uses a 16-bit Non-multiplexed Data Bus.
Supplied power is either 5.0 or 3.3 volts. The table below shows the pin-out for a 60 pin connector.

Miniature Card Connector Pin Out
Pin Signal name Pin Signal name
1 Address Line 18 31 Address Line 19
2 Address Line 16 32 Address Line 17
3 Address Line 14 33 Address Line 15
4 Memory Refresh Voltage 34 Address Line 13
5 CEH# 35 Address Lin 12
6 Address Line 11 36 Reset#
7 Address Line 9 37 Address Line 10
8 Address Line 8 38 VS1# [Voltage Sense]
9 Address Line 6 39 Address Line 7
10 Address Line 5 40 BS8#
11 Address Line 3 41 Address Line 4
12 Address Line 2 42 CEL# [Low Byte Enable]
13 Address Line 0 43 Address Line 1
14 RAS# [Row Strobe] 44 CASL#
15 Address Line 24 45 CASH#
16 Address Line 23 46 CD# [Card Detect]
17 Address Line 22 47 Address Line 21
18 OE# 48 BUSY#
19 Data Line 15 49 WE#
20 Data Line 13 50 Data Line 14
21 Data Line 12 51 Reserved
22 Data Line 10 52 Data Line 11
23 Data Line 9 53 VS2# [Voltage Sense 2]
24 Data Line 0 54 Data Line 8
25 Data Line 2 55 Data Line 1
26 Data Line 4 56 Data Line 3
27 Reserved 57 Data Line 5
28 Data Line 7 58 Data Line 6
29 Serial Data/Address 59 Reserved
30 Serial Clock 60 Address Line 20

Implementation Warning;
Like the original PCMCIA specification, the Miniature Card variant is obsolete.
This particular PC Card implementation uses a 16 bit data bus and was replaced by the 32 bit Card Bus a number of years ago.
However even the 32 bit version of the standard was rendered out-dated with the release of Express Card, which moved to the PCI-Express Bus.

The pin out for the Miniature Card shown above is still valid, although the odds of finding a card are diminishing.
The transfer speed, number of data bits and limited amount of address space also limits the cards current usage as memory expansion.
This interface should not be used in any new design. This is basically old technology based on an out dated electrical interface.
The electrical interface being used on a Miniature Card is based of the old ISA bus which was replaced by the PCI bus 20 years ago.

Upgrade Advice: Any new memory card could out perform the Miniature Card. However the assumption would be a new computer would be needed.
After several years the odds begin to increase that an old computer will fail, for any number of reasons.
So the first step in up-grading would be to trade up to a newer computer that has the capability and card slots to read a newer memory card.

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Modified 3/05/12
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