<operating system> To move a program from fast-access memory to a slow-access memory ("swap out"), or vice versa ("swap in"). The term often refers specifically to the use of a hard disk (or a swap file) as virtual memory or "swap space".
When a program is to be executed, possibly as determined by a scheduler, it is swapped into core for processing; when it can no longer continue executing for some reason, or the scheduler decides its time slice has expired, it is swapped out again.
This contrasts with "paging" systems in which only parts of a program's memory is transfered.
Last updated: 1996-11-22
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Nearby terms: SVS « swab « SWAG « swap » swap file » swapped in » swapped out