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This paper presents a comparative study of torque-speed characteristics and cogging torque of the fractional-slot interior permanent magnet brushless ac machines having different slot openings, viz. open slot, closed slot, and hybrid slot (sandwiched open and closed slots), and unskewed and step skewed rotors. The influence of such alternate slot openings on the magnetic cross-coupling and cogging torque is particularly emphasized. Furthermore, the repercussion of the manufacturing limitations and tolerances on the cogging torque of machines having these alternate slot openings is also investigated. The magnetic cross-coupling level and the sensitivity of cogging torque to manufacturing limitations and tolerances strongly depend on the slot opening materials. The finite-element analyses are experimentally validated.