What is a Slot?


A slot is a narrow opening, especially one designed to receive something, such as a coin or a letter. A slot may also be a position or a time when an activity can take place. For example, a traveler can book a time slot to fly to another city. Airport slots give airlines the right to operate at a particular time of day.

The term slot may refer to:

a slit or narrow opening; a hole or groove: A coin dropped into a slot in the sidewalk made a sound. A slot in a machine is an arrangement of reels that spin and stop to rearrange symbols when a button is pushed, producing a winning combination based on the paytable. Classic symbols include stylized lucky sevens and fruits. Slot machines can be themed to reflect a particular style, location or character.

The position of slot receiver in football is becoming increasingly important. A good slot receiver can open up the whole field for a quarterback, and they can run routes both inside and outside the pattern. They are usually smaller and more stocky than wide receivers, and they need to be precise with their timing. In addition, they need to have a strong relationship with the quarterback in order to succeed.

In computing, a slot is a hardware mechanism that provides a shared resource (e.g., memory) to a set of execution units. This is similar to a pipe in software, which passes data between processes. The term slot is sometimes used to refer to a virtual memory address, or more generally to a region of computer memory that a program has access to.

A slit or narrow opening; a slot in a door, window, or other structure: The dog crawled through the small hole under the deck. A device that accepts a coin or paper ticket: The machine took the dollar from the boy’s hand, and then paid out the appropriate number of tokens.

Alternatively, a slot may refer to:

A slit or narrow opening in a wall or fence: A man stuck his finger through the slot of the door. A gap or hole in an object, such as a keyhole or doorknob: The lock did not fit in the slot. A recessed space in an appliance or other piece of furniture: The television is built into the wall, with the slot concealing the wires and connections. A specialized slot in a machine that accepts coins: The slot in the door opened when the handle was pressed. A slot in a computer: A slot comprises the operation issue and data path machinery surrounding a set of one or more execution units, which share these resources. In VLIW computers, this is often referred to as the execute pipeline. In dynamically scheduled machines, it is often called a functional unit (FU). In either case, the term is related to the concepts of pipe and spool in parallel programming languages.