Technical Terms and Definitions

Frame - Telecommunications

  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 binary digit 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 (RAM).