“ | Long time. | ” |
—Sam Flynn |
“ | You have no idea... | ” |
—Kevin Flynn |
A Cycle (also known as a Tron Cycle or TC) is a measurement of time used in the Grid. Interpreting the dialogue of TRON: Legacy, a cycle is a fair amount of time, roughly equivalent to a year.
Kevin Flynn mentions that a millicycle is about 8 hours. The metric prefix "milli" denotes one thousandth, which would mean that a cycle is about 8,000 hours (for comparison an Earthly year, by the Gregorian calendar, is about 8,760 hours (twenty-four times three-hundred-and-sixty-five)). But that measure is speculative and non-canonical.
Cycles | Grid Time | Real Time |
49.9999 | 1,000 years | 1 year |
1.0 | 20 years | 7.3 days |
0.13698 | 2.73972 years | 1 day |
0.00570 | 5.93 weeks or 41.66 days | 1 hour |
0.00009 | 16.99 hours | 1 minute |
0.0000015 | 16.99 minutes | 1 second |
The specially released TRON: Legacy tie-in magazine guide includes a timeline of the Grid, explaining that time moves faster in the system because its only limit is the speed at which electrons can move in circuitry. The guide states that one year in the real world equals about 50 Cycles in the Grid, which would mean that Kevin Flynn was trapped inside the Grid for roughly 1,000 years from his viewpoint. This would seem to be confirmed within the movie itself by Castor's line that Clu had been trying to obtain Kevin Flynn's Identity Disc for about 1,000 cycles.
According to mathematical calculations done by TRON community fans, a more precise number has been achieved using the TRON: Legacy tie-in magazine guide as a basis. Going on the basis that 50 cycles on the grid is one year in real time, the other numbers can be extrapolated, as shown in the table to the right.
Notes
- An Intel 8086 Processor circa 1980 has about 8MHz which equals out to about 8 million cycles a second.