Facebook Introduces New Unit of Time

Facebook-Introduces-New-Unit-of-Time

Facebook launched a new product named Flicks, which is a new unit of time, on January 22, 2018.

According the GitHub page documenting Flicks, a Flick is “the smallest time unit which is LARGER than a nanosecond,” defined as 1/705,600,000 of a second.

The name itself is a portmanteau of the phase frame-tick. Flicks are designed to help measure individual frame duration for video frame rates. So whether a video is 24hz, 25hz, 30hz, 48hz, 50hz, 60hz, 90hz, 100hz, or 120hz, one will be able to use Flicks to ensure that everything is in sync while still using whole integers.

Programmers already use built-in tools in C++ to manage these sorts of exact frame syncing, especially when it comes to designing visual effects in CGI. However, the most exact timing possible in C++ is nanoseconds, which does not divide evenly into most frame rates. The idea to create a new unit of time to solve this problem dates back to last year, when developer Christopher Horvath posted about it on Facebook.

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