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Using timers

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Article Metadata
Keywords: UniversalTime, FastCounter, NTickCount
Created: gafgafgaf (05 Jun 2007)
Last edited: hamishwillee (20 Oct 2011)
Developers have several options to profile application behavior with timers. Each of these options have advantages and disadvantages.



  • Resolution is in the microseconds range (on EKA2).
  • This timer uses the system time that can be changed by other programs
  • Tick period can be obtained by calling
TInt tickPeriod;
HAL::Get(HAL::ENanoTickPeriod, tickPeriod);


  • Highest possible resolution of a Symbian OS timer
  • Faster than TTime::UniversalTime()
  • Tick period can be obtained by calling
TInt tickPeriod;
HAL::Get(HALData::EFastCounterFrequency, tickPeriod);

User::NTickCount() / NKern::TickCount()

  • Allows access to kernel tick count directly (user and kernel side)
  • does not lose time when device goes into standby
  • Tick period can be obtained by calling
HAL::Get(HAL::ENanoTickPeriod, tickPeriod); // User side
// or
TInt tickPeriod = NKern::TickPeriod() // Kernel side

Example code

This sample illustrates a way to calculate the time elapsed between two calls using TTime::UniversalTime().

TReal iFps; // frame per seconds
TTime iOldTime;
void CMyActiveObject::RunL()
TTime time;
// You may need to make sure that time counter is incremented
// to avoid division by zero
iFps = 1000000 / time.MicroSecondsFrom( iOldTime ).Int64();
iOldTime = time;
This page was last modified on 20 October 2011, at 04:19.
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