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expansion slot
Last modified: Wednesday, January 15, 2003 

An opening in a computer where a circuit board can be inserted to add new capabilities to the computer. Nearly all personal computers except portables contain expansion slots for adding more memory, graphics capabilities, and support for special devices. The boards inserted into the expansion slots are called expansion boards, expansion cards , cards , add-ins , and add-ons.

Expansion slots for PCs come in two basic sizes: half- and full-size. Half-size slots are also called 8-bit slots because they can transfer 8 bits at a time. Full-size slots are sometimes called 16-bit slots. In addition, modern PCs include PCI slots for expansion boards that connect directly to the PCI bus.

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