Most digital computers depend on an internal signal at constant frequency to synchronize processing; this is referred to as a clock signal. (A few research projects are developing CPUs based on asynchronous circuits.) Some equipment, including computers, also maintains time and date for use as required; this is referred to as time-of-day clock, and is distinct from the system clock signal, although possibly based on counting its cycles.
The tick duration must be positive. If it has a part smaller than a whole millisecond, then the whole duration must divide into one second without leaving a remainder. All normal tick durations will match these criteria, including any multiple of hours, minutes, seconds and milliseconds, and sensible nanosecond durations, such as 20ns, 250,000ns and 500,000ns.