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The datacard is a small, portable memory device used to transfer data from one computer to another. Wrapped in a durable polymer shell to protect the data within from corruption and physical damage, the interior of a datacard is a liquid crystal compound. When stimulated by the high frequency signal of a data transfer, the compound hardens into a rigid matrix.
Each datacard is single use and once "written," it cannot be encoded with new information. Due to the nature of its internal memory structure, a single datacard will only hold a single batch of information. However, when in its blank state, the datacard's capacitance is fluid and a single device has the potential to hold the total sum of knowledge needed to produce an entity as simple as a whip or as complex as Star Destroyer. To encompass the scope of such a vast entity as a capital ship, the datacard includes vast amounts of metallurgical, schematic, manufacturing, and engineering data all in a single, diminutive package.
An added benefit to a datacard, beyond its portability, is the ability to copy data from a written datacard to a blank one using a datapad. There are downsides to such ease of information sharing, however. Anyone with a datapad can copy the information from a datacard they have access to in short order, which leaves few non-physical safeguards against technological espionage.
The mode of transfer between a datacard and a read/write device can vary, depending on the conditions under which it must be deployed. However, most datacards transmit through a short-wave radio signal that conforms to a standardized data pattern and is triggered by very close proximity.