What Is a Slot?


A slit or other narrow opening, as a keyway in a lock or the slit for a coin in a machine. Also, a position in a group, series, or sequence.

The slot in football is the receiving position that lines up a few yards behind the line of scrimmage. These receivers are responsible for running routes that correspond with the other wideouts on the team and must be able to run a wide variety of passing patterns. They also play a big role on running plays, blocking for the ball carrier and helping them to gain extra yards on sweeps and slants. The more versatile a slot receiver is, the more valuable they are to their team.

In computer science, a “slot” refers to the operation issue and data path machinery that surround a set of one or more execution units (also called functional units). The relationship between an operation in the instruction stream and the pipeline to execute it is explicit in very long instruction word machines, where it is called a fetch-execute cycle. In dynamically scheduled computers, this relationship is implicit and not explicitly defined.

Slots can be allocated to processes by a scheduler or other application that manages resources. In this way, the scheduler or application can control how much of a computer’s processing power is available to specific applications and avoid overloading the system.

Typically, a process’s slot is based on some sort of priority or queue. However, a process’s slot can be explicitly defined by the user and used to prioritize or arbitrate between multiple tasks. In this way, a task can be guaranteed that it will receive its full share of the processor’s time, even in the case of competing jobs.

The slot is a vital part of any offense, but it can be difficult to master. Slot receivers are often a little shorter and stockier than outside wide receivers, and they must have top-notch route-running skills in order to make the most of their position. Because they’re usually so close to the line of scrimmage, slot receivers are also at risk for bigger hits than their counterparts further out on the field. To prevent this, they must be able to read defenses well and avoid being targeted by the deep safety or cornerback. This can be accomplished by learning a variety of pass patterns and being versatile in their running game.