What is a Slot?

A slot is a narrow opening, especially one for receiving something, as coins or a letter. It may also refer to a position in a sequence or series: ‘My show is in the eight o’clock slot on Thursdays’.

The most famous slot is probably the casino game that bears its name. Known by many different names in different countries (such as fruit machines, pokies, or puggies), slot is the world’s most popular gambling machine. The games vary in style, theme, and bonus features, but all have a reel and a central prize table. A player can insert cash or, in “ticket-in, ticket-out” machines, a paper ticket with a barcode into a slot and activate the machine to spin the reels. When a winning combination appears, the player receives credits according to the paytable.

A slot is a computational element in a processor that shares common resources with other cores. A microprocessor has a fixed number of slots, each with its own memory, I/O ports, and data path. The term is most often used in reference to very long instruction word (VLIW) computers, but the concept is also applied to other architectures. In modern multicore CPUs, the term carries more general meaning and may refer to any hardware component that shares resources with other components. A slot is usually a separate physical device, but in some cases it is implemented as part of the CPU die or IO controller chip.