*See frames for the use of multiple Web pages on a single display screen.

1) In telecommunications, a frame is data that is transmitted between network points as a unit complete with addressing and necessary protocol control information. A frame is usually transmitted serial bit by bit and contains a header field and a trailer field that "frame" the data. (Some control frames contain no data.)

Here is a simple representation of a frame, based on the frame used in the frame relay access standard:

-----------Header-------   ----------Trailer---------
Address field Information (data) field
(0-4096 bytes)
Frame check sequence Flag

In the figure above, the flag and address fields constitute the header. The frame check sequence and second flag fields constitute the trailer. The information or data in the frame may contain another encapsulated frame that is used in a higher-level or different protocol. In fact, a frame relay frame typically carries data that has been framed by an earlier protocol program.

2) In time-division multiplexing (TDM), a frame is a complete cycle of events within the time division period.

3) In film and video recording and playback, a frame is a single image in a sequence of images that are recorded and played back.

4) In computer video display technology, a frame is the image that is sent to the display image rendering devices. It is continuously updated or refreshed from a frame buffer, a highly accessible part of video RAM.

5) In artificial intelligence (AI) applications, a frame is a set of data with information about a particular object, process, or image. An example is the iris-print visual recognition system used to identify users of certain bank automated teller machines. This system compares the frame of data for a potential user with the frames in its database of authorized users.

This was last updated in April 2005

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