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Engineer creates new unit of time to improve online video

A 'flick' could reduce latency and stutters

An engineer at Facebook has created a new unit of time which could help with latency and stutters in online video and audio.

Christopher Horvath invented a ‘flick’ or ‘frame-tick’, and is defined in the programming language C++, which is used to generate visual effects for film, television and other media. It is equal to 705,600,000th of a second and is larger than a nanosecond and smaller than a microsecond.

The unit is intended to give programmers a way to measure the time between media frames without using fractions.

“When working creating visual effects for film, television, and other media, it is common to run simulations or other time-integrating processes which subdivide a single frame of time into a fixed, integer number of subdivisions. It is handy to be able to accumulate these subdivisions to create exact one-frame and one-second intervals, for a variety of reasons,” Horvath said.