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The SpriteCard shader is for materials that will be used with Source's particle system. It supports the unusual animation frame storage of Source's particles (see Animated Particles), and also provides the following unique parameters:

$minsize <normal>
$maxsize <normal>
A minimum/maximum on-screen size for a particle. It will never go over/under the specified value. To do: What if it's in a rendertarget?
Tip.png Tip: $minsize is good for ensuring that effects like bloodspray are visible at a distance.
$minfadesize <normal>
$maxfadesize <normal>
Causes a particle to begin (min) and end (max) fading out based on its on-screen size. Both params are required.
Tip.png Tip: Good for controlling performance when walking through a cloud of large particles.
$blendframes <bool>
By default animated textures blend between any given two animation frames to increase the apparent animation rate. In translucent materials this adds additional overdraw to the scene, however. Disabling frame blend will trade the animation smoothing for performance.
$overbrightfactor <int?>
Unknown. Perhaps a minimum light level?