13. Resource Descriptors

A descriptor is an opaque data structure representing a shader resource such as a buffer, buffer view, image view, sampler, or combined image sampler. Descriptors are organised into descriptor sets, which are bound during command recording for use in subsequent draw commands. The arrangement of content in each descriptor set is determined by a descriptor set layout, which determines what descriptors can be stored within it. The sequence of descriptor set layouts that can be used by a pipeline is specified in a pipeline layout. Each pipeline object can use up to maxBoundDescriptorSets (see Limits) descriptor sets.

Shaders access resources via variables decorated with a descriptor set and binding number that link them to a descriptor in a descriptor set. The shader interface mapping to bound descriptor sets is described in the Shader Resource Interface section.

13.1. Descriptor Types

There are a number of different types of descriptor supported by Vulkan, corresponding to different resources or usage. The following sections describe the API definitions of each descriptor type. The mapping of each type to SPIR-V is listed in the Shader Resource and Descriptor Type Correspondence and Shader Resource and Storage Class Correspondence tables in the Shader Interfaces chapter.

13.1.1. Storage Image

A storage image (VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_IMAGE) is a descriptor type associated with an image resource via an image view that load, store, and atomic operations can be performed on.

Storage image loads are supported in all shader stages for image views whose format features contain VK_FORMAT_FEATURE_STORAGE_IMAGE_BIT.

Stores to storage images are supported in compute shaders for image views whose format features contain VK_FORMAT_FEATURE_STORAGE_IMAGE_BIT.

Atomic operations on storage images are supported in compute shaders for image views whose format features contain VK_FORMAT_FEATURE_STORAGE_IMAGE_ATOMIC_BIT.

When the fragmentStoresAndAtomics feature is enabled, stores and atomic operations are also supported for storage images in fragment shaders with the same set of image formats as supported in compute shaders. When the vertexPipelineStoresAndAtomics feature is enabled, stores and atomic operations are also supported in vertex, tessellation, and geometry shaders with the same set of image formats as supported in compute shaders.

The image subresources for a storage image must be in the VK_IMAGE_LAYOUT_SHARED_PRESENT_KHR or VK_IMAGE_LAYOUT_GENERAL layout in order to access its data in a shader.

13.1.2. Sampler

A sampler descriptor (VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_SAMPLER) is a descriptor type associated with a sampler object, used to control the behaviour of sampling operations performed on a sampled image.

13.1.3. Sampled Image

A sampled image (VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_SAMPLED_IMAGE) is a descriptor type associated with an image resource via an image view that sampling operations can be performed on.

Shaders combine a sampled image variable and a sampler variable to perform sampling operations.

Sampled images are supported in all shader stages for image views whose format features contain VK_FORMAT_FEATURE_SAMPLED_IMAGE_BIT.

The image subresources for a sampled image must be in the VK_IMAGE_LAYOUT_SHARED_PRESENT_KHR, VK_IMAGE_LAYOUT_DEPTH_READ_ONLY_STENCIL_ATTACHMENT_OPTIMAL, VK_IMAGE_LAYOUT_DEPTH_ATTACHMENT_STENCIL_READ_ONLY_OPTIMAL, VK_IMAGE_LAYOUT_DEPTH_STENCIL_READ_ONLY_OPTIMAL, VK_IMAGE_LAYOUT_SHADER_READ_ONLY_OPTIMAL, or VK_IMAGE_LAYOUT_GENERAL layout in order to access its data in a shader.

13.1.4. Combined Image Sampler

A combined image sampler (VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_COMBINED_IMAGE_SAMPLER) is a single descriptor type associated with both a sampler and an image resource, combining both a sampler and sampled image descriptor into a single descriptor.

If the descriptor refers to a sampler that performs Y’CBCR conversion, the sampler must only be used to sample the image in the same descriptor. Otherwise, the sampler and image in this type of descriptor can be used freely with any other samplers and images.

The image subresources for a combined image sampler must be in the VK_IMAGE_LAYOUT_SHARED_PRESENT_KHR, VK_IMAGE_LAYOUT_DEPTH_READ_ONLY_STENCIL_ATTACHMENT_OPTIMAL, VK_IMAGE_LAYOUT_DEPTH_ATTACHMENT_STENCIL_READ_ONLY_OPTIMAL, VK_IMAGE_LAYOUT_DEPTH_STENCIL_READ_ONLY_OPTIMAL, VK_IMAGE_LAYOUT_SHADER_READ_ONLY_OPTIMAL, or VK_IMAGE_LAYOUT_GENERAL layout in order to access its data in a shader.

Note

On some implementations, it may be more efficient to sample from an image using a combination of sampler and sampled image that are stored together in the descriptor set in a combined descriptor.

13.1.5. Uniform Texel Buffer

A uniform texel buffer (VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_TEXEL_BUFFER) is a descriptor type associated with a buffer resource via a buffer view that formatted load operations can be performed on.

Uniform texel buffers define a tightly-packed 1-dimensional linear array of texels, with texels going through format conversion when read in a shader in the same way as they are for an image.

Load operations from uniform texel buffers are supported in all shader stages for image formats which report support for the VK_FORMAT_FEATURE_UNIFORM_TEXEL_BUFFER_BIT feature bit via vkGetPhysicalDeviceFormatProperties in VkFormatProperties::bufferFeatures.

13.1.6. Storage Texel Buffer

A storage texel buffer (VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_TEXEL_BUFFER) is a descriptor type associated with a buffer resource via a buffer view that formatted load, store, and atomic operations can be performed on.

Storage texel buffers define a tightly-packed 1-dimensional linear array of texels, with texels going through format conversion when read in a shader in the same way as they are for an image. Unlike uniform texel buffers, these buffers can also be written to in the same way as for storage images.

Storage texel buffer loads are supported in all shader stages for texel buffer formats which report support for the VK_FORMAT_FEATURE_STORAGE_TEXEL_BUFFER_BIT feature bit via vkGetPhysicalDeviceFormatProperties in VkFormatProperties::bufferFeatures.

Stores to storage texel buffers are supported in compute shaders for texel buffer formats which report support for the VK_FORMAT_FEATURE_STORAGE_TEXEL_BUFFER_BIT feature via vkGetPhysicalDeviceFormatProperties in VkFormatProperties::bufferFeatures.

Atomic operations on storage texel buffers are supported in compute shaders for texel buffer formats which report support for the VK_FORMAT_FEATURE_STORAGE_TEXEL_BUFFER_ATOMIC_BIT feature via vkGetPhysicalDeviceFormatProperties in VkFormatProperties::bufferFeatures.

When the fragmentStoresAndAtomics feature is enabled, stores and atomic operations are also supported for storage texel buffers in fragment shaders with the same set of texel buffer formats as supported in compute shaders. When the vertexPipelineStoresAndAtomics feature is enabled, stores and atomic operations are also supported in vertex, tessellation, and geometry shaders with the same set of texel buffer formats as supported in compute shaders.

13.1.7. Storage Buffer

A storage buffer (VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_BUFFER) is a descriptor type associated with a buffer resource directly, described in a shader as a structure with various members that load, store, and atomic operations can be performed on.

Note

Atomic operations can only be performed on members of certain types as defined in the SPIR-V environment appendix.

13.1.8. Uniform Buffer

A uniform buffer (VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_BUFFER) is a descriptor type associated with a buffer resource directly, described in a shader as a structure with various members that load operations can be performed on.

13.1.9. Dynamic Uniform Buffer

A dynamic uniform buffer (VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_BUFFER_DYNAMIC) is almost identical to a uniform buffer, and differs only in how the offset into the buffer is specified. The base offset calculated by the VkDescriptorBufferInfo when initially updating the descriptor set is added to a dynamic offset when binding the descriptor set.

13.1.10. Dynamic Storage Buffer

A dynamic storage buffer (VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_BUFFER_DYNAMIC) is almost identical to a storage buffer, and differs only in how the offset into the buffer is specified. The base offset calculated by the VkDescriptorBufferInfo when initially updating the descriptor set is added to a dynamic offset when binding the descriptor set.

13.1.11. Inline Uniform Block

An inline uniform block (VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT) is almost identical to a uniform buffer, and differs only in taking its storage directly from the encompassing descriptor set instead of being backed by buffer memory. It is typically used to access a small set of constant data that does not require the additional flexibility provided by the indirection enabled when using a uniform buffer where the descriptor and the referenced buffer memory are decoupled. Compared to push constants, they allow reusing the same set of constant data across multiple disjoint sets of draw and dispatch commands.

Inline uniform block descriptors cannot be aggregated into arrays. Instead, the array size specified for an inline uniform block descriptor binding specifies the binding’s capacity in bytes.

13.1.12. Input Attachment

An input attachment (VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INPUT_ATTACHMENT) is a descriptor type associated with an image resource via an image view that can be used for framebuffer local load operations in fragment shaders.

All image formats that are supported for color attachments (VK_FORMAT_FEATURE_COLOR_ATTACHMENT_BIT) or depth/stencil attachments (VK_FORMAT_FEATURE_DEPTH_STENCIL_ATTACHMENT_BIT) for a given image tiling mode are also supported for input attachments.

The image subresources for an input attachment must be in the VK_IMAGE_LAYOUT_SHARED_PRESENT_KHR, VK_IMAGE_LAYOUT_DEPTH_READ_ONLY_STENCIL_ATTACHMENT_OPTIMAL, VK_IMAGE_LAYOUT_DEPTH_ATTACHMENT_STENCIL_READ_ONLY_OPTIMAL, VK_IMAGE_LAYOUT_DEPTH_STENCIL_READ_ONLY_OPTIMAL, VK_IMAGE_LAYOUT_SHADER_READ_ONLY_OPTIMAL, or VK_IMAGE_LAYOUT_GENERAL layout in order to access its data in a shader.

13.2. Descriptor Sets

Descriptors are grouped together into descriptor set objects. A descriptor set object is an opaque object that contains storage for a set of descriptors, where the types and number of descriptors is defined by a descriptor set layout. The layout object may be used to define the association of each descriptor binding with memory or other implementation resources. The layout is used both for determining the resources that need to be associated with the descriptor set, and determining the interface between shader stages and shader resources.

13.2.1. Descriptor Set Layout

A descriptor set layout object is defined by an array of zero or more descriptor bindings. Each individual descriptor binding is specified by a descriptor type, a count (array size) of the number of descriptors in the binding, a set of shader stages that can access the binding, and (if using immutable samplers) an array of sampler descriptors.

Descriptor set layout objects are represented by VkDescriptorSetLayout handles:

VK_DEFINE_NON_DISPATCHABLE_HANDLE(VkDescriptorSetLayout)

To create descriptor set layout objects, call:

VkResult vkCreateDescriptorSetLayout(
    VkDevice                                    device,
    const VkDescriptorSetLayoutCreateInfo*      pCreateInfo,
    const VkAllocationCallbacks*                pAllocator,
    VkDescriptorSetLayout*                      pSetLayout);
  • device is the logical device that creates the descriptor set layout.

  • pCreateInfo is a pointer to an instance of the VkDescriptorSetLayoutCreateInfo structure specifying the state of the descriptor set layout object.

  • pAllocator controls host memory allocation as described in the Memory Allocation chapter.

  • pSetLayout points to a VkDescriptorSetLayout handle in which the resulting descriptor set layout object is returned.

Valid Usage (Implicit)
  • device must be a valid VkDevice handle

  • pCreateInfo must be a valid pointer to a valid VkDescriptorSetLayoutCreateInfo structure

  • If pAllocator is not NULL, pAllocator must be a valid pointer to a valid VkAllocationCallbacks structure

  • pSetLayout must be a valid pointer to a VkDescriptorSetLayout handle

Return Codes
Success
  • VK_SUCCESS

Failure
  • VK_ERROR_OUT_OF_HOST_MEMORY

  • VK_ERROR_OUT_OF_DEVICE_MEMORY

Information about the descriptor set layout is passed in an instance of the VkDescriptorSetLayoutCreateInfo structure:

typedef struct VkDescriptorSetLayoutCreateInfo {
    VkStructureType                        sType;
    const void*                            pNext;
    VkDescriptorSetLayoutCreateFlags       flags;
    uint32_t                               bindingCount;
    const VkDescriptorSetLayoutBinding*    pBindings;
} VkDescriptorSetLayoutCreateInfo;
  • sType is the type of this structure.

  • pNext is NULL or a pointer to an extension-specific structure.

  • flags is a bitmask of VkDescriptorSetLayoutCreateFlagBits specifying options for descriptor set layout creation.

  • bindingCount is the number of elements in pBindings.

  • pBindings is a pointer to an array of VkDescriptorSetLayoutBinding structures.

Valid Usage
  • The VkDescriptorSetLayoutBinding::binding members of the elements of the pBindings array must each have different values.

  • If flags contains VK_DESCRIPTOR_SET_LAYOUT_CREATE_PUSH_DESCRIPTOR_BIT_KHR, then all elements of pBindings must not have a descriptorType of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_BUFFER_DYNAMIC or VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_BUFFER_DYNAMIC

  • If flags contains VK_DESCRIPTOR_SET_LAYOUT_CREATE_PUSH_DESCRIPTOR_BIT_KHR, then all elements of pBindings must not have a descriptorType of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT

  • If flags contains VK_DESCRIPTOR_SET_LAYOUT_CREATE_PUSH_DESCRIPTOR_BIT_KHR, then the total number of elements of all bindings must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDevicePushDescriptorPropertiesKHR::maxPushDescriptors

  • If any binding has the VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_BIT_EXT bit set, flags must include VK_DESCRIPTOR_SET_LAYOUT_CREATE_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_POOL_BIT_EXT

  • If any binding has the VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_BIT_EXT bit set, then all bindings must not have descriptorType of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_BUFFER_DYNAMIC or VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_BUFFER_DYNAMIC

Valid Usage (Implicit)

Bits which can be set in VkDescriptorSetLayoutCreateInfo::flags to specify options for descriptor set layout are:

typedef enum VkDescriptorSetLayoutCreateFlagBits {
    VK_DESCRIPTOR_SET_LAYOUT_CREATE_PUSH_DESCRIPTOR_BIT_KHR = 0x00000001,
    VK_DESCRIPTOR_SET_LAYOUT_CREATE_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_POOL_BIT_EXT = 0x00000002,
} VkDescriptorSetLayoutCreateFlagBits;
  • VK_DESCRIPTOR_SET_LAYOUT_CREATE_PUSH_DESCRIPTOR_BIT_KHR specifies that descriptor sets must not be allocated using this layout, and descriptors are instead pushed by vkCmdPushDescriptorSetKHR.

  • VK_DESCRIPTOR_SET_LAYOUT_CREATE_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_POOL_BIT_EXT specifies that descriptor sets using this layout must be allocated from a descriptor pool created with the VK_DESCRIPTOR_POOL_CREATE_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_BIT_EXT bit set. Descriptor set layouts created with this bit set have alternate limits for the maximum number of descriptors per-stage and per-pipeline layout. The non-UpdateAfterBind limits only count descriptors in sets created without this flag. The UpdateAfterBind limits count all descriptors, but the limits may be higher than the non-UpdateAfterBind limits.

typedef VkFlags VkDescriptorSetLayoutCreateFlags;

VkDescriptorSetLayoutCreateFlags is a bitmask type for setting a mask of zero or more VkDescriptorSetLayoutCreateFlagBits.

The VkDescriptorSetLayoutBinding structure is defined as:

typedef struct VkDescriptorSetLayoutBinding {
    uint32_t              binding;
    VkDescriptorType      descriptorType;
    uint32_t              descriptorCount;
    VkShaderStageFlags    stageFlags;
    const VkSampler*      pImmutableSamplers;
} VkDescriptorSetLayoutBinding;
  • binding is the binding number of this entry and corresponds to a resource of the same binding number in the shader stages.

  • descriptorType is a VkDescriptorType specifying which type of resource descriptors are used for this binding.

  • descriptorCount is the number of descriptors contained in the binding, accessed in a shader as an array , except if descriptorType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT in which case descriptorCount is the size in bytes of the inline uniform block . If descriptorCount is zero this binding entry is reserved and the resource must not be accessed from any stage via this binding within any pipeline using the set layout.

  • stageFlags member is a bitmask of VkShaderStageFlagBits specifying which pipeline shader stages can access a resource for this binding. VK_SHADER_STAGE_ALL is a shorthand specifying that all defined shader stages, including any additional stages defined by extensions, can access the resource.

    If a shader stage is not included in stageFlags, then a resource must not be accessed from that stage via this binding within any pipeline using the set layout. Other than input attachments which are limited to the fragment shader, there are no limitations on what combinations of stages can use a descriptor binding, and in particular a binding can be used by both graphics stages and the compute stage.

  • pImmutableSamplers affects initialization of samplers. If descriptorType specifies a VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_SAMPLER or VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_COMBINED_IMAGE_SAMPLER type descriptor, then pImmutableSamplers can be used to initialize a set of immutable samplers. Immutable samplers are permanently bound into the set layout; later binding a sampler into an immutable sampler slot in a descriptor set is not allowed. If pImmutableSamplers is not NULL, then it is considered to be a pointer to an array of sampler handles that will be consumed by the set layout and used for the corresponding binding. If pImmutableSamplers is NULL, then the sampler slots are dynamic and sampler handles must be bound into descriptor sets using this layout. If descriptorType is not one of these descriptor types, then pImmutableSamplers is ignored.

The above layout definition allows the descriptor bindings to be specified sparsely such that not all binding numbers between 0 and the maximum binding number need to be specified in the pBindings array. Bindings that are not specified have a descriptorCount and stageFlags of zero, and the value of descriptorType is undefined. However, all binding numbers between 0 and the maximum binding number in the VkDescriptorSetLayoutCreateInfo::pBindings array may consume memory in the descriptor set layout even if not all descriptor bindings are used, though it should not consume additional memory from the descriptor pool.

Note

The maximum binding number specified should be as compact as possible to avoid wasted memory.

Valid Usage
  • If descriptorType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_SAMPLER or VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_COMBINED_IMAGE_SAMPLER, and descriptorCount is not 0 and pImmutableSamplers is not NULL, pImmutableSamplers must be a valid pointer to an array of descriptorCount valid VkSampler handles

  • If descriptorType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT then descriptorCount must be a multiple of 4

  • If descriptorType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT then descriptorCount must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceInlineUniformBlockPropertiesEXT::maxInlineUniformBlockSize

  • If descriptorCount is not 0, stageFlags must be a valid combination of VkShaderStageFlagBits values

  • If descriptorType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INPUT_ATTACHMENT and descriptorCount is not 0, then stageFlags must be 0 or VK_SHADER_STAGE_FRAGMENT_BIT

Valid Usage (Implicit)

If the pNext chain of a VkDescriptorSetLayoutCreateInfo structure includes a VkDescriptorSetLayoutBindingFlagsCreateInfoEXT structure, then that structure includes an array of flags, one for each descriptor set layout binding.

The VkDescriptorSetLayoutBindingFlagsCreateInfoEXT structure is defined as:

typedef struct VkDescriptorSetLayoutBindingFlagsCreateInfoEXT {
    VkStructureType                       sType;
    const void*                           pNext;
    uint32_t                              bindingCount;
    const VkDescriptorBindingFlagsEXT*    pBindingFlags;
} VkDescriptorSetLayoutBindingFlagsCreateInfoEXT;
  • sType is the type of this structure.

  • pNext is NULL or a pointer to an extension-specific structure.

  • bindingCount is zero or the number of elements in pBindingFlags.

  • pBindingFlags is a pointer to an array of VkDescriptorBindingFlagsEXT bitfields, one for each descriptor set layout binding.

If bindingCount is zero or if this structure is not in the pNext chain, the VkDescriptorBindingFlagsEXT for each descriptor set layout binding is considered to be zero. Otherwise, the descriptor set layout binding at VkDescriptorSetLayoutCreateInfo::pBindings[i] uses the flags in pBindingFlags[i].

Valid Usage
  • If bindingCount is not zero, bindingCount must equal VkDescriptorSetLayoutCreateInfo::bindingCount

  • If VkDescriptorSetLayoutCreateInfo::flags includes VK_DESCRIPTOR_SET_LAYOUT_CREATE_PUSH_DESCRIPTOR_BIT_KHR, then all elements of pBindingFlags must not include VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_BIT_EXT, VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_UPDATE_UNUSED_WHILE_PENDING_BIT_EXT, or VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_VARIABLE_DESCRIPTOR_COUNT_BIT_EXT

  • If an element of pBindingFlags includes VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_VARIABLE_DESCRIPTOR_COUNT_BIT_EXT, then all other elements of VkDescriptorSetLayoutCreateInfo::pBindings must have a smaller value of binding

  • If VkPhysicalDeviceDescriptorIndexingFeaturesEXT::descriptorBindingUniformBufferUpdateAfterBind is not enabled, all bindings with descriptor type VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_BUFFER must not use VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_BIT_EXT

  • If VkPhysicalDeviceDescriptorIndexingFeaturesEXT::descriptorBindingSampledImageUpdateAfterBind is not enabled, all bindings with descriptor type VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_SAMPLER, VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_COMBINED_IMAGE_SAMPLER, or VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_SAMPLED_IMAGE must not use VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_BIT_EXT

  • If VkPhysicalDeviceDescriptorIndexingFeaturesEXT::descriptorBindingStorageImageUpdateAfterBind is not enabled, all bindings with descriptor type VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_IMAGE must not use VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_BIT_EXT

  • If VkPhysicalDeviceDescriptorIndexingFeaturesEXT::descriptorBindingStorageBufferUpdateAfterBind is not enabled, all bindings with descriptor type VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_BUFFER must not use VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_BIT_EXT

  • If VkPhysicalDeviceDescriptorIndexingFeaturesEXT::descriptorBindingUniformTexelBufferUpdateAfterBind is not enabled, all bindings with descriptor type VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_TEXEL_BUFFER must not use VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_BIT_EXT

  • If VkPhysicalDeviceDescriptorIndexingFeaturesEXT::descriptorBindingStorageTexelBufferUpdateAfterBind is not enabled, all bindings with descriptor type VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_TEXEL_BUFFER must not use VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_BIT_EXT

  • If VkPhysicalDeviceInlineUniformBlockFeaturesEXT::descriptorBindingInlineUniformBlockUpdateAfterBind is not enabled, all bindings with descriptor type VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT must not use VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_BIT_EXT

  • All bindings with descriptor type VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INPUT_ATTACHMENT, VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_BUFFER_DYNAMIC, or VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_BUFFER_DYNAMIC must not use VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_BIT_EXT

  • If VkPhysicalDeviceDescriptorIndexingFeaturesEXT::descriptorBindingUpdateUnusedWhilePending is not enabled, all elements of pBindingFlags must not include VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_UPDATE_UNUSED_WHILE_PENDING_BIT_EXT

  • If VkPhysicalDeviceDescriptorIndexingFeaturesEXT::descriptorBindingPartiallyBound is not enabled, all elements of pBindingFlags must not include VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_PARTIALLY_BOUND_BIT_EXT

  • If VkPhysicalDeviceDescriptorIndexingFeaturesEXT::descriptorBindingVariableDescriptorCount is not enabled, all elements of pBindingFlags must not include VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_VARIABLE_DESCRIPTOR_COUNT_BIT_EXT

  • If an element of pBindingFlags includes VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_VARIABLE_DESCRIPTOR_COUNT_BIT_EXT, that element’s descriptorType must not be VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_BUFFER_DYNAMIC or VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_BUFFER_DYNAMIC

Valid Usage (Implicit)
  • sType must be VK_STRUCTURE_TYPE_DESCRIPTOR_SET_LAYOUT_BINDING_FLAGS_CREATE_INFO_EXT

  • If bindingCount is not 0, and pBindingFlags is not NULL, pBindingFlags must be a valid pointer to an array of bindingCount valid combinations of VkDescriptorBindingFlagBitsEXT values

Bits which can be set in each element of VkDescriptorSetLayoutBindingFlagsCreateInfoEXT::pBindingFlags to specify options for the corresponding descriptor set layout binding are:

typedef enum VkDescriptorBindingFlagBitsEXT {
    VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_BIT_EXT = 0x00000001,
    VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_UPDATE_UNUSED_WHILE_PENDING_BIT_EXT = 0x00000002,
    VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_PARTIALLY_BOUND_BIT_EXT = 0x00000004,
    VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_VARIABLE_DESCRIPTOR_COUNT_BIT_EXT = 0x00000008,
} VkDescriptorBindingFlagBitsEXT;
  • VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_BIT_EXT indicates that if descriptors in this binding are updated between when the descriptor set is bound in a command buffer and when that command buffer is submitted to a queue, then the submission will use the most recently set descriptors for this binding and the updates do not invalidate the command buffer. Descriptor bindings created with this flag are also partially exempt from the external synchronization requirement in vkUpdateDescriptorSetWithTemplateKHR and vkUpdateDescriptorSets. They can be updated concurrently with the set being bound to a command buffer in another thread, but not concurrently with the set being reset or freed.

  • VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_PARTIALLY_BOUND_BIT_EXT indicates that descriptors in this binding that are not dynamically used need not contain valid descriptors at the time the descriptors are consumed. A descriptor is dynamically used if any shader invocation executes an instruction that performs any memory access using the descriptor.

  • VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_UPDATE_UNUSED_WHILE_PENDING_BIT_EXT indicates that descriptors in this binding can be updated after a command buffer has bound this descriptor set, or while a command buffer that uses this descriptor set is pending execution, as long as the descriptors that are updated are not used by those command buffers. If VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_PARTIALLY_BOUND_BIT_EXT is also set, then descriptors can be updated as long as they are not dynamically used by any shader invocations. If VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_PARTIALLY_BOUND_BIT_EXT is not set, then descriptors can be updated as long as they are not statically used by any shader invocations.

  • VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_VARIABLE_DESCRIPTOR_COUNT_BIT_EXT indicates that this descriptor binding has a variable size that will be specified when a descriptor set is allocated using this layout. The value of descriptorCount is treated as an upper bound on the size of the binding. This must only be used for the last binding in the descriptor set layout (i.e. the binding with the largest value of binding). For the purposes of counting against limits such as maxDescriptorSet* and maxPerStageDescriptor*, the full value of descriptorCount is counted , except for descriptor bindings with a descriptor type of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT where descriptorCount specifies the upper bound on the byte size of the binding, thus it counts against the maxInlineUniformBlockSize limit instead. .

Note

Note that while VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_BIT_EXT and VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_UPDATE_UNUSED_WHILE_PENDING_BIT_EXT both involve updates to descriptor sets after they are bound, VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_UPDATE_UNUSED_WHILE_PENDING_BIT_EXT is a weaker requirement since it is only about descriptors that are not used, whereas VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_BIT_EXT requires the implementation to observe updates to descriptors that are used.

To query information about whether a descriptor set layout can be created, call:

void vkGetDescriptorSetLayoutSupport(
    VkDevice                                    device,
    const VkDescriptorSetLayoutCreateInfo*      pCreateInfo,
    VkDescriptorSetLayoutSupport*               pSupport);

or the equivalent command

void vkGetDescriptorSetLayoutSupportKHR(
    VkDevice                                    device,
    const VkDescriptorSetLayoutCreateInfo*      pCreateInfo,
    VkDescriptorSetLayoutSupport*               pSupport);
  • device is the logical device that would create the descriptor set layout.

  • pCreateInfo is a pointer to an instance of the VkDescriptorSetLayoutCreateInfo structure specifying the state of the descriptor set layout object.

  • pSupport points to a VkDescriptorSetLayoutSupport structure in which information about support for the descriptor set layout object is returned.

Some implementations have limitations on what fits in a descriptor set which are not easily expressible in terms of existing limits like maxDescriptorSet*, for example if all descriptor types share a limited space in memory but each descriptor is a different size or alignment. This command returns information about whether a descriptor set satisfies this limit. If the descriptor set layout satisfies the VkPhysicalDeviceMaintenance3Properties::maxPerSetDescriptors limit, this command is guaranteed to return VK_TRUE in VkDescriptorSetLayoutSupport::supported. If the descriptor set layout exceeds the VkPhysicalDeviceMaintenance3Properties::maxPerSetDescriptors limit, whether the descriptor set layout is supported is implementation-dependent and may depend on whether the descriptor sizes and alignments cause the layout to exceed an internal limit.

This command does not consider other limits such as maxPerStageDescriptor*, and so a descriptor set layout that is supported according to this command must still satisfy the pipeline layout limits such as maxPerStageDescriptor* in order to be used in a pipeline layout.

Note

This is a VkDevice query rather than VkPhysicalDevice because the answer may depend on enabled features.

Valid Usage (Implicit)
  • device must be a valid VkDevice handle

  • pCreateInfo must be a valid pointer to a valid VkDescriptorSetLayoutCreateInfo structure

  • pSupport must be a valid pointer to a VkDescriptorSetLayoutSupport structure

Information about support for the descriptor set layout is returned in an instance of the VkDescriptorSetLayoutSupport structure:

typedef struct VkDescriptorSetLayoutSupport {
    VkStructureType    sType;
    void*              pNext;
    VkBool32           supported;
} VkDescriptorSetLayoutSupport;

or the equivalent

typedef VkDescriptorSetLayoutSupport VkDescriptorSetLayoutSupportKHR;
  • sType is the type of this structure.

  • pNext is NULL or a pointer to an extension-specific structure.

  • supported specifies whether the descriptor set layout can be created.

supported is set to VK_TRUE if the descriptor set can be created, or else is set to VK_FALSE.

Valid Usage (Implicit)

If the pNext chain of a VkDescriptorSetLayoutSupport structure includes a VkDescriptorSetVariableDescriptorCountLayoutSupportEXT structure, then that structure returns additional information about whether the descriptor set layout is supported.

typedef struct VkDescriptorSetVariableDescriptorCountLayoutSupportEXT {
    VkStructureType    sType;
    void*              pNext;
    uint32_t           maxVariableDescriptorCount;
} VkDescriptorSetVariableDescriptorCountLayoutSupportEXT;
  • sType is the type of this structure.

  • pNext is NULL or a pointer to an extension-specific structure.

  • maxVariableDescriptorCount indicates the maximum number of descriptors supported in the highest numbered binding of the layout, if that binding is variable-sized. If the highest numbered binding of the layout has a descriptor type of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT then maxVariableDescriptorCount indicates the maximum byte size supported for the binding, if that binding is variable-sized.

If the create info includes a variable-sized descriptor, then supported is determined assuming the requested size of the variable-sized descriptor, and maxVariableDescriptorCount is set to the maximum size of that descriptor that can be successfully created (which is greater than or equal to the requested size passed in). If the create info does not include a variable-sized descriptor or if the VkPhysicalDeviceDescriptorIndexingFeaturesEXT::descriptorBindingVariableDescriptorCount feature is not enabled, then maxVariableDescriptorCount is set to zero. For the purposes of this command, a variable-sized descriptor binding with a descriptorCount of zero is treated as if the descriptorCount is one, and thus the binding is not ignored and the maximum descriptor count will be returned. If the layout is not supported, then the value written to maxVariableDescriptorCount is undefined.

Valid Usage (Implicit)
  • sType must be VK_STRUCTURE_TYPE_DESCRIPTOR_SET_VARIABLE_DESCRIPTOR_COUNT_LAYOUT_SUPPORT_EXT

The following examples show a shader snippet using two descriptor sets, and application code that creates corresponding descriptor set layouts.

GLSL example
//
// binding to a single sampled image descriptor in set 0
//
layout (set=0, binding=0) uniform texture2D mySampledImage;

//
// binding to an array of sampled image descriptors in set 0
//
layout (set=0, binding=1) uniform texture2D myArrayOfSampledImages[12];

//
// binding to a single uniform buffer descriptor in set 1
//
layout (set=1, binding=0) uniform myUniformBuffer
{
    vec4 myElement[32];
};
SPIR-V example
               ...
          %1 = OpExtInstImport "GLSL.std.450"
               ...
               OpName %9 "mySampledImage"
               OpName %14 "myArrayOfSampledImages"
               OpName %18 "myUniformBuffer"
               OpMemberName %18 0 "myElement"
               OpName %20 ""
               OpDecorate %9 DescriptorSet 0
               OpDecorate %9 Binding 0
               OpDecorate %14 DescriptorSet 0
               OpDecorate %14 Binding 1
               OpDecorate %17 ArrayStride 16
               OpMemberDecorate %18 0 Offset 0
               OpDecorate %18 Block
               OpDecorate %20 DescriptorSet 1
               OpDecorate %20 Binding 0
          %2 = OpTypeVoid
          %3 = OpTypeFunction %2
          %6 = OpTypeFloat 32
          %7 = OpTypeImage %6 2D 0 0 0 1 Unknown
          %8 = OpTypePointer UniformConstant %7
          %9 = OpVariable %8 UniformConstant
         %10 = OpTypeInt 32 0
         %11 = OpConstant %10 12
         %12 = OpTypeArray %7 %11
         %13 = OpTypePointer UniformConstant %12
         %14 = OpVariable %13 UniformConstant
         %15 = OpTypeVector %6 4
         %16 = OpConstant %10 32
         %17 = OpTypeArray %15 %16
         %18 = OpTypeStruct %17
         %19 = OpTypePointer Uniform %18
         %20 = OpVariable %19 Uniform
               ...
API example
VkResult myResult;

const VkDescriptorSetLayoutBinding myDescriptorSetLayoutBinding[] =
{
    // binding to a single image descriptor
    {
        0,                                      // binding
        VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_SAMPLED_IMAGE,       // descriptorType
        1,                                      // descriptorCount
        VK_SHADER_STAGE_FRAGMENT_BIT,           // stageFlags
        NULL                                    // pImmutableSamplers
    },

    // binding to an array of image descriptors
    {
        1,                                      // binding
        VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_SAMPLED_IMAGE,       // descriptorType
        12,                                     // descriptorCount
        VK_SHADER_STAGE_FRAGMENT_BIT,           // stageFlags
        NULL                                    // pImmutableSamplers
    },

    // binding to a single uniform buffer descriptor
    {
        0,                                      // binding
        VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_BUFFER,      // descriptorType
        1,                                      // descriptorCount
        VK_SHADER_STAGE_FRAGMENT_BIT,           // stageFlags
        NULL                                    // pImmutableSamplers
    }
};

const VkDescriptorSetLayoutCreateInfo myDescriptorSetLayoutCreateInfo[] =
{
    // Create info for first descriptor set with two descriptor bindings
    {
        VK_STRUCTURE_TYPE_DESCRIPTOR_SET_LAYOUT_CREATE_INFO,    // sType
        NULL,                                                   // pNext
        0,                                                      // flags
        2,                                                      // bindingCount
        &myDescriptorSetLayoutBinding[0]                        // pBindings
    },

    // Create info for second descriptor set with one descriptor binding
    {
        VK_STRUCTURE_TYPE_DESCRIPTOR_SET_LAYOUT_CREATE_INFO,    // sType
        NULL,                                                   // pNext
        0,                                                      // flags
        1,                                                      // bindingCount
        &myDescriptorSetLayoutBinding[2]                        // pBindings
    }
};

VkDescriptorSetLayout myDescriptorSetLayout[2];

//
// Create first descriptor set layout
//
myResult = vkCreateDescriptorSetLayout(
    myDevice,
    &myDescriptorSetLayoutCreateInfo[0],
    NULL,
    &myDescriptorSetLayout[0]);

//
// Create second descriptor set layout
//
myResult = vkCreateDescriptorSetLayout(
    myDevice,
    &myDescriptorSetLayoutCreateInfo[1],
    NULL,
    &myDescriptorSetLayout[1]);

To destroy a descriptor set layout, call:

void vkDestroyDescriptorSetLayout(
    VkDevice                                    device,
    VkDescriptorSetLayout                       descriptorSetLayout,
    const VkAllocationCallbacks*                pAllocator);
  • device is the logical device that destroys the descriptor set layout.

  • descriptorSetLayout is the descriptor set layout to destroy.

  • pAllocator controls host memory allocation as described in the Memory Allocation chapter.

Valid Usage
  • If VkAllocationCallbacks were provided when descriptorSetLayout was created, a compatible set of callbacks must be provided here

  • If no VkAllocationCallbacks were provided when descriptorSetLayout was created, pAllocator must be NULL

Valid Usage (Implicit)
  • device must be a valid VkDevice handle

  • If descriptorSetLayout is not VK_NULL_HANDLE, descriptorSetLayout must be a valid VkDescriptorSetLayout handle

  • If pAllocator is not NULL, pAllocator must be a valid pointer to a valid VkAllocationCallbacks structure

  • If descriptorSetLayout is a valid handle, it must have been created, allocated, or retrieved from device

Host Synchronization
  • Host access to descriptorSetLayout must be externally synchronized

13.2.2. Pipeline Layouts

Access to descriptor sets from a pipeline is accomplished through a pipeline layout. Zero or more descriptor set layouts and zero or more push constant ranges are combined to form a pipeline layout object which describes the complete set of resources that can be accessed by a pipeline. The pipeline layout represents a sequence of descriptor sets with each having a specific layout. This sequence of layouts is used to determine the interface between shader stages and shader resources. Each pipeline is created using a pipeline layout.

Pipeline layout objects are represented by VkPipelineLayout handles:

VK_DEFINE_NON_DISPATCHABLE_HANDLE(VkPipelineLayout)

To create a pipeline layout, call:

VkResult vkCreatePipelineLayout(
    VkDevice                                    device,
    const VkPipelineLayoutCreateInfo*           pCreateInfo,
    const VkAllocationCallbacks*                pAllocator,
    VkPipelineLayout*                           pPipelineLayout);
  • device is the logical device that creates the pipeline layout.

  • pCreateInfo is a pointer to an instance of the VkPipelineLayoutCreateInfo structure specifying the state of the pipeline layout object.

  • pAllocator controls host memory allocation as described in the Memory Allocation chapter.

  • pPipelineLayout points to a VkPipelineLayout handle in which the resulting pipeline layout object is returned.

Valid Usage (Implicit)
  • device must be a valid VkDevice handle

  • pCreateInfo must be a valid pointer to a valid VkPipelineLayoutCreateInfo structure

  • If pAllocator is not NULL, pAllocator must be a valid pointer to a valid VkAllocationCallbacks structure

  • pPipelineLayout must be a valid pointer to a VkPipelineLayout handle

Return Codes
Success
  • VK_SUCCESS

Failure
  • VK_ERROR_OUT_OF_HOST_MEMORY

  • VK_ERROR_OUT_OF_DEVICE_MEMORY

The VkPipelineLayoutCreateInfo structure is defined as:

typedef struct VkPipelineLayoutCreateInfo {
    VkStructureType                 sType;
    const void*                     pNext;
    VkPipelineLayoutCreateFlags     flags;
    uint32_t                        setLayoutCount;
    const VkDescriptorSetLayout*    pSetLayouts;
    uint32_t                        pushConstantRangeCount;
    const VkPushConstantRange*      pPushConstantRanges;
} VkPipelineLayoutCreateInfo;
  • sType is the type of this structure.

  • pNext is NULL or a pointer to an extension-specific structure.

  • flags is reserved for future use.

  • setLayoutCount is the number of descriptor sets included in the pipeline layout.

  • pSetLayouts is a pointer to an array of VkDescriptorSetLayout objects.

  • pushConstantRangeCount is the number of push constant ranges included in the pipeline layout.

  • pPushConstantRanges is a pointer to an array of VkPushConstantRange structures defining a set of push constant ranges for use in a single pipeline layout. In addition to descriptor set layouts, a pipeline layout also describes how many push constants can be accessed by each stage of the pipeline.

    Note

    Push constants represent a high speed path to modify constant data in pipelines that is expected to outperform memory-backed resource updates.

Valid Usage
  • setLayoutCount must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceLimits::maxBoundDescriptorSets

  • The total number of descriptors in descriptor set layouts created without the VK_DESCRIPTOR_SET_LAYOUT_CREATE_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_POOL_BIT_EXT bit set with a descriptorType of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_SAMPLER and VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_COMBINED_IMAGE_SAMPLER accessible to any given shader stage across all elements of pSetLayouts must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceLimits::maxPerStageDescriptorSamplers

  • The total number of descriptors in descriptor set layouts created without the VK_DESCRIPTOR_SET_LAYOUT_CREATE_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_POOL_BIT_EXT bit set with a descriptorType of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_BUFFER and VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_BUFFER_DYNAMIC accessible to any given shader stage across all elements of pSetLayouts must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceLimits::maxPerStageDescriptorUniformBuffers

  • The total number of descriptors in descriptor set layouts created without the VK_DESCRIPTOR_SET_LAYOUT_CREATE_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_POOL_BIT_EXT bit set with a descriptorType of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_BUFFER and VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_BUFFER_DYNAMIC accessible to any given shader stage across all elements of pSetLayouts must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceLimits::maxPerStageDescriptorStorageBuffers

  • The total number of descriptors in descriptor set layouts created without the VK_DESCRIPTOR_SET_LAYOUT_CREATE_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_POOL_BIT_EXT bit set with a descriptorType of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_COMBINED_IMAGE_SAMPLER, VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_SAMPLED_IMAGE, and VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_TEXEL_BUFFER accessible to any given shader stage across all elements of pSetLayouts must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceLimits::maxPerStageDescriptorSampledImages

  • The total number of descriptors in descriptor set layouts created without the VK_DESCRIPTOR_SET_LAYOUT_CREATE_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_POOL_BIT_EXT bit set with a descriptorType of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_IMAGE, and VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_TEXEL_BUFFER accessible to any given shader stage across all elements of pSetLayouts must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceLimits::maxPerStageDescriptorStorageImages

  • The total number of descriptors in descriptor set layouts created without the VK_DESCRIPTOR_SET_LAYOUT_CREATE_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_POOL_BIT_EXT bit set with a descriptorType of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INPUT_ATTACHMENT accessible to any given shader stage across all elements of pSetLayouts must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceLimits::maxPerStageDescriptorInputAttachments

  • The total number of bindings in descriptor set layouts created without the VK_DESCRIPTOR_SET_LAYOUT_CREATE_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_POOL_BIT_EXT bit set with a descriptorType of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT accessible to any given shader stage across all elements of pSetLayouts must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceInlineUniformBlockPropertiesEXT::maxPerStageDescriptorInlineUniformBlocks

  • The total number of descriptors with a descriptorType of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_SAMPLER and VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_COMBINED_IMAGE_SAMPLER accessible to any given shader stage across all elements of pSetLayouts must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceDescriptorIndexingPropertiesEXT::maxPerStageDescriptorUpdateAfterBindSamplers

  • The total number of descriptors with a descriptorType of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_BUFFER and VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_BUFFER_DYNAMIC accessible to any given shader stage across all elements of pSetLayouts must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceDescriptorIndexingPropertiesEXT::maxPerStageDescriptorUpdateAfterBindUniformBuffers

  • The total number of descriptors with a descriptorType of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_BUFFER and VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_BUFFER_DYNAMIC accessible to any given shader stage across all elements of pSetLayouts must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceDescriptorIndexingPropertiesEXT::maxPerStageDescriptorUpdateAfterBindStorageBuffers

  • The total number of descriptors with a descriptorType of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_COMBINED_IMAGE_SAMPLER, VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_SAMPLED_IMAGE, and VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_TEXEL_BUFFER accessible to any given shader stage across all elements of pSetLayouts must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceDescriptorIndexingPropertiesEXT::maxPerStageDescriptorUpdateAfterBindSampledImages

  • The total number of descriptors with a descriptorType of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_IMAGE, and VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_TEXEL_BUFFER accessible to any given shader stage across all elements of pSetLayouts must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceDescriptorIndexingPropertiesEXT::maxPerStageDescriptorUpdateAfterBindStorageImages

  • The total number of descriptors with a descriptorType of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INPUT_ATTACHMENT accessible to any given shader stage across all elements of pSetLayouts must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceDescriptorIndexingPropertiesEXT::maxPerStageDescriptorUpdateAfterBindInputAttachments

  • The total number of bindings with a descriptorType of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT accessible to any given shader stage across all elements of pSetLayouts must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceInlineUniformBlockPropertiesEXT::maxPerStageDescriptorUpdateAfterBindInlineUniformBlocks

  • The total number of descriptors in descriptor set layouts created without the VK_DESCRIPTOR_SET_LAYOUT_CREATE_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_POOL_BIT_EXT bit set with a descriptorType of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_SAMPLER and VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_COMBINED_IMAGE_SAMPLER accessible across all shader stages and across all elements of pSetLayouts must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceLimits::maxDescriptorSetSamplers

  • The total number of descriptors in descriptor set layouts created without the VK_DESCRIPTOR_SET_LAYOUT_CREATE_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_POOL_BIT_EXT bit set with a descriptorType of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_BUFFER accessible across all shader stages and across all elements of pSetLayouts must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceLimits::maxDescriptorSetUniformBuffers

  • The total number of descriptors in descriptor set layouts created without the VK_DESCRIPTOR_SET_LAYOUT_CREATE_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_POOL_BIT_EXT bit set with a descriptorType of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_BUFFER_DYNAMIC accessible across all shader stages and across all elements of pSetLayouts must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceLimits::maxDescriptorSetUniformBuffersDynamic

  • The total number of descriptors in descriptor set layouts created without the VK_DESCRIPTOR_SET_LAYOUT_CREATE_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_POOL_BIT_EXT bit set with a descriptorType of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_BUFFER accessible across all shader stages and across all elements of pSetLayouts must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceLimits::maxDescriptorSetStorageBuffers

  • The total number of descriptors in descriptor set layouts created without the VK_DESCRIPTOR_SET_LAYOUT_CREATE_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_POOL_BIT_EXT bit set with a descriptorType of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_BUFFER_DYNAMIC accessible across all shader stages and across all elements of pSetLayouts must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceLimits::maxDescriptorSetStorageBuffersDynamic

  • The total number of descriptors in descriptor set layouts created without the VK_DESCRIPTOR_SET_LAYOUT_CREATE_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_POOL_BIT_EXT bit set with a descriptorType of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_COMBINED_IMAGE_SAMPLER, VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_SAMPLED_IMAGE, and VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_TEXEL_BUFFER accessible across all shader stages and across all elements of pSetLayouts must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceLimits::maxDescriptorSetSampledImages

  • The total number of descriptors in descriptor set layouts created without the VK_DESCRIPTOR_SET_LAYOUT_CREATE_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_POOL_BIT_EXT bit set with a descriptorType of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_IMAGE, and VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_TEXEL_BUFFER accessible across all shader stages and across all elements of pSetLayouts must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceLimits::maxDescriptorSetStorageImages

  • The total number of descriptors in descriptor set layouts created without the VK_DESCRIPTOR_SET_LAYOUT_CREATE_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_POOL_BIT_EXT bit set with a descriptorType of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INPUT_ATTACHMENT accessible across all shader stages and across all elements of pSetLayouts must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceLimits::maxDescriptorSetInputAttachments

  • The total number of bindings in descriptor set layouts created without the VK_DESCRIPTOR_SET_LAYOUT_CREATE_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_POOL_BIT_EXT bit set with a descriptorType of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT accessible across all shader stages and across all elements of pSetLayouts must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceInlineUniformBlockPropertiesEXT::maxDescriptorSetInlineUniformBlocks

  • The total number of descriptors of the type VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_SAMPLER and VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_COMBINED_IMAGE_SAMPLER accessible across all shader stages and across all elements of pSetLayouts must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceDescriptorIndexingPropertiesEXT::maxDescriptorSetUpdateAfterBindSamplers

  • The total number of descriptors of the type VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_BUFFER accessible across all shader stages and across all elements of pSetLayouts must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceDescriptorIndexingPropertiesEXT::maxDescriptorSetUpdateAfterBindUniformBuffers

  • The total number of descriptors of the type VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_BUFFER_DYNAMIC accessible across all shader stages and across all elements of pSetLayouts must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceDescriptorIndexingPropertiesEXT::maxDescriptorSetUpdateAfterBindUniformBuffersDynamic

  • The total number of descriptors of the type VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_BUFFER accessible across all shader stages and across all elements of pSetLayouts must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceDescriptorIndexingPropertiesEXT::maxDescriptorSetUpdateAfterBindStorageBuffers

  • The total number of descriptors of the type VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_BUFFER_DYNAMIC accessible across all shader stages and across all elements of pSetLayouts must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceDescriptorIndexingPropertiesEXT::maxDescriptorSetUpdateAfterBindStorageBuffersDynamic

  • The total number of descriptors of the type VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_COMBINED_IMAGE_SAMPLER, VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_SAMPLED_IMAGE, and VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_TEXEL_BUFFER accessible across all shader stages and across all elements of pSetLayouts must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceDescriptorIndexingPropertiesEXT::maxDescriptorSetUpdateAfterBindSampledImages

  • The total number of descriptors of the type VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_IMAGE, and VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_TEXEL_BUFFER accessible across all shader stages and across all elements of pSetLayouts must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceDescriptorIndexingPropertiesEXT::maxDescriptorSetUpdateAfterBindStorageImages

  • The total number of descriptors of the type VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INPUT_ATTACHMENT accessible across all shader stages and across all elements of pSetLayouts must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceDescriptorIndexingPropertiesEXT::maxDescriptorSetUpdateAfterBindInputAttachments

  • The total number of bindings with a descriptorType of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT accessible across all shader stages and across all elements of pSetLayouts must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceInlineUniformBlockPropertiesEXT::maxDescriptorSetUpdateAfterBindInlineUniformBlocks

  • Any two elements of pPushConstantRanges must not include the same stage in stageFlags

  • pSetLayouts must not contain more than one descriptor set layout that was created with VK_DESCRIPTOR_SET_LAYOUT_CREATE_PUSH_DESCRIPTOR_BIT_KHR set

  • The total number of bindings with a descriptorType of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_ACCELERATION_STRUCTURE_NV accessible across all shader stages and across all elements of pSetLayouts must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceRayTracingPropertiesNV::maxDescriptorSetAccelerationStructures

Valid Usage (Implicit)
  • sType must be VK_STRUCTURE_TYPE_PIPELINE_LAYOUT_CREATE_INFO

  • pNext must be NULL

  • flags must be 0

  • If setLayoutCount is not 0, pSetLayouts must be a valid pointer to an array of setLayoutCount valid VkDescriptorSetLayout handles

  • If pushConstantRangeCount is not 0, pPushConstantRanges must be a valid pointer to an array of pushConstantRangeCount valid VkPushConstantRange structures

typedef VkFlags VkPipelineLayoutCreateFlags;

VkPipelineLayoutCreateFlags is a bitmask type for setting a mask, but is currently reserved for future use.

The VkPushConstantRange structure is defined as:

typedef struct VkPushConstantRange {
    VkShaderStageFlags    stageFlags;
    uint32_t              offset;
    uint32_t              size;
} VkPushConstantRange;
  • stageFlags is a set of stage flags describing the shader stages that will access a range of push constants. If a particular stage is not included in the range, then accessing members of that range of push constants from the corresponding shader stage will return undefined values.

  • offset and size are the start offset and size, respectively, consumed by the range. Both offset and size are in units of bytes and must be a multiple of 4. The layout of the push constant variables is specified in the shader.

Valid Usage
  • offset must be less than VkPhysicalDeviceLimits::maxPushConstantsSize

  • offset must be a multiple of 4

  • size must be greater than 0

  • size must be a multiple of 4

  • size must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceLimits::maxPushConstantsSize minus offset

Valid Usage (Implicit)

Once created, pipeline layouts are used as part of pipeline creation (see Pipelines), as part of binding descriptor sets (see Descriptor Set Binding), and as part of setting push constants (see Push Constant Updates). Pipeline creation accepts a pipeline layout as input, and the layout may be used to map (set, binding, arrayElement) tuples to implementation resources or memory locations within a descriptor set. The assignment of implementation resources depends only on the bindings defined in the descriptor sets that comprise the pipeline layout, and not on any shader source.

All resource variables statically used in all shaders in a pipeline must be declared with a (set,binding,arrayElement) that exists in the corresponding descriptor set layout and is of an appropriate descriptor type and includes the set of shader stages it is used by in stageFlags. The pipeline layout can include entries that are not used by a particular pipeline, or that are dead-code eliminated from any of the shaders. The pipeline layout allows the application to provide a consistent set of bindings across multiple pipeline compiles, which enables those pipelines to be compiled in a way that the implementation may cheaply switch pipelines without reprogramming the bindings.

Similarly, the push constant block declared in each shader (if present) must only place variables at offsets that are each included in a push constant range with stageFlags including the bit corresponding to the shader stage that uses it. The pipeline layout can include ranges or portions of ranges that are not used by a particular pipeline, or for which the variables have been dead-code eliminated from any of the shaders.

There is a limit on the total number of resources of each type that can be included in bindings in all descriptor set layouts in a pipeline layout as shown in Pipeline Layout Resource Limits. The “Total Resources Available” column gives the limit on the number of each type of resource that can be included in bindings in all descriptor sets in the pipeline layout. Some resource types count against multiple limits. Additionally, there are limits on the total number of each type of resource that can be used in any pipeline stage as described in Shader Resource Limits.

Table 17. Pipeline Layout Resource Limits
Total Resources Available Resource Types

maxDescriptorSetSamplers or maxDescriptorSetUpdateAfterBindSamplers

sampler

combined image sampler

maxDescriptorSetSampledImages or maxDescriptorSetUpdateAfterBindSampledImages

sampled image

combined image sampler

uniform texel buffer

maxDescriptorSetStorageImages or maxDescriptorSetUpdateAfterBindStorageImages

storage image

storage texel buffer

maxDescriptorSetUniformBuffers or maxDescriptorSetUpdateAfterBindUniformBuffers

uniform buffer

uniform buffer dynamic

maxDescriptorSetUniformBuffersDynamic or maxDescriptorSetUpdateAfterBindUniformBuffersDynamic

uniform buffer dynamic

maxDescriptorSetStorageBuffers or maxDescriptorSetUpdateAfterBindStorageBuffers

storage buffer

storage buffer dynamic

maxDescriptorSetStorageBuffersDynamic or maxDescriptorSetUpdateAfterBindStorageBuffersDynamic

storage buffer dynamic

maxDescriptorSetInputAttachments or maxDescriptorSetUpdateAfterBindInputAttachments

input attachment

maxDescriptorSetInlineUniformBlocks or maxDescriptorSetUpdateAfterBindInlineUniformBlocks

inline uniform block

maxDescriptorSetAccelerationStructures

acceleration structure

To destroy a pipeline layout, call:

void vkDestroyPipelineLayout(
    VkDevice                                    device,
    VkPipelineLayout                            pipelineLayout,
    const VkAllocationCallbacks*                pAllocator);
  • device is the logical device that destroys the pipeline layout.

  • pipelineLayout is the pipeline layout to destroy.

  • pAllocator controls host memory allocation as described in the Memory Allocation chapter.

Valid Usage
  • If VkAllocationCallbacks were provided when pipelineLayout was created, a compatible set of callbacks must be provided here

  • If no VkAllocationCallbacks were provided when pipelineLayout was created, pAllocator must be NULL

  • pipelineLayout must not have been passed to any vkCmd* command for any command buffers that are still in the recording state when vkDestroyPipelineLayout is called

Valid Usage (Implicit)
  • device must be a valid VkDevice handle

  • If pipelineLayout is not VK_NULL_HANDLE, pipelineLayout must be a valid VkPipelineLayout handle

  • If pAllocator is not NULL, pAllocator must be a valid pointer to a valid VkAllocationCallbacks structure

  • If pipelineLayout is a valid handle, it must have been created, allocated, or retrieved from device

Host Synchronization
  • Host access to pipelineLayout must be externally synchronized

Pipeline Layout Compatibility

Two pipeline layouts are defined to be “compatible for push constants” if they were created with identical push constant ranges. Two pipeline layouts are defined to be “compatible for set N” if they were created with identically defined descriptor set layouts for sets zero through N, and if they were created with identical push constant ranges.

When binding a descriptor set (see Descriptor Set Binding) to set number N, if the previously bound descriptor sets for sets zero through N-1 were all bound using compatible pipeline layouts, then performing this binding does not disturb any of the lower numbered sets. If, additionally, the previous bound descriptor set for set N was bound using a pipeline layout compatible for set N, then the bindings in sets numbered greater than N are also not disturbed.

Similarly, when binding a pipeline, the pipeline can correctly access any previously bound descriptor sets which were bound with compatible pipeline layouts, as long as all lower numbered sets were also bound with compatible layouts.

Layout compatibility means that descriptor sets can be bound to a command buffer for use by any pipeline created with a compatible pipeline layout, and without having bound a particular pipeline first. It also means that descriptor sets can remain valid across a pipeline change, and the same resources will be accessible to the newly bound pipeline.

Implementor’s Note

A consequence of layout compatibility is that when the implementation compiles a pipeline layout and maps pipeline resources to implementation resources, the mechanism for set N should only be a function of sets [0..N].

Note

Place the least frequently changing descriptor sets near the start of the pipeline layout, and place the descriptor sets representing the most frequently changing resources near the end. When pipelines are switched, only the descriptor set bindings that have been invalidated will need to be updated and the remainder of the descriptor set bindings will remain in place.

The maximum number of descriptor sets that can be bound to a pipeline layout is queried from physical device properties (see maxBoundDescriptorSets in Limits).

API example
const VkDescriptorSetLayout layouts[] = { layout1, layout2 };

const VkPushConstantRange ranges[] =
{
    {
        VK_PIPELINE_STAGE_VERTEX_SHADER_BIT,    // stageFlags
        0,                                      // offset
        4                                       // size
    },

    {
        VK_PIPELINE_STAGE_FRAGMENT_SHADER_BIT,  // stageFlags
        4,                                      // offset
        4                                       // size
    },
};

const VkPipelineLayoutCreateInfo createInfo =
{
    VK_STRUCTURE_TYPE_PIPELINE_LAYOUT_CREATE_INFO,  // sType
    NULL,                                           // pNext
    0,                                              // flags
    2,                                              // setLayoutCount
    layouts,                                        // pSetLayouts
    2,                                              // pushConstantRangeCount
    ranges                                          // pPushConstantRanges
};

VkPipelineLayout myPipelineLayout;
myResult = vkCreatePipelineLayout(
    myDevice,
    &createInfo,
    NULL,
    &myPipelineLayout);

13.2.3. Allocation of Descriptor Sets

A descriptor pool maintains a pool of descriptors, from which descriptor sets are allocated. Descriptor pools are externally synchronized, meaning that the application must not allocate and/or free descriptor sets from the same pool in multiple threads simultaneously.

Descriptor pools are represented by VkDescriptorPool handles:

VK_DEFINE_NON_DISPATCHABLE_HANDLE(VkDescriptorPool)

To create a descriptor pool object, call:

VkResult vkCreateDescriptorPool(
    VkDevice                                    device,
    const VkDescriptorPoolCreateInfo*           pCreateInfo,
    const VkAllocationCallbacks*                pAllocator,
    VkDescriptorPool*                           pDescriptorPool);
  • device is the logical device that creates the descriptor pool.

  • pCreateInfo is a pointer to an instance of the VkDescriptorPoolCreateInfo structure specifying the state of the descriptor pool object.

  • pAllocator controls host memory allocation as described in the Memory Allocation chapter.

  • pDescriptorPool points to a VkDescriptorPool handle in which the resulting descriptor pool object is returned.

pAllocator controls host memory allocation as described in the Memory Allocation chapter.

The created descriptor pool is returned in pDescriptorPool.

Valid Usage (Implicit)
  • device must be a valid VkDevice handle

  • pCreateInfo must be a valid pointer to a valid VkDescriptorPoolCreateInfo structure

  • If pAllocator is not NULL, pAllocator must be a valid pointer to a valid VkAllocationCallbacks structure

  • pDescriptorPool must be a valid pointer to a VkDescriptorPool handle

Return Codes
Success
  • VK_SUCCESS

Failure
  • VK_ERROR_OUT_OF_HOST_MEMORY

  • VK_ERROR_OUT_OF_DEVICE_MEMORY

  • VK_ERROR_FRAGMENTATION_EXT

Additional information about the pool is passed in an instance of the VkDescriptorPoolCreateInfo structure:

typedef struct VkDescriptorPoolCreateInfo {
    VkStructureType                sType;
    const void*                    pNext;
    VkDescriptorPoolCreateFlags    flags;
    uint32_t                       maxSets;
    uint32_t                       poolSizeCount;
    const VkDescriptorPoolSize*    pPoolSizes;
} VkDescriptorPoolCreateInfo;
  • sType is the type of this structure.

  • pNext is NULL or a pointer to an extension-specific structure.

  • flags is a bitmask of VkDescriptorPoolCreateFlagBits specifying certain supported operations on the pool.

  • maxSets is the maximum number of descriptor sets that can be allocated from the pool.

  • poolSizeCount is the number of elements in pPoolSizes.

  • pPoolSizes is a pointer to an array of VkDescriptorPoolSize structures, each containing a descriptor type and number of descriptors of that type to be allocated in the pool.

If multiple VkDescriptorPoolSize structures appear in the pPoolSizes array then the pool will be created with enough storage for the total number of descriptors of each type.

Fragmentation of a descriptor pool is possible and may lead to descriptor set allocation failures. A failure due to fragmentation is defined as failing a descriptor set allocation despite the sum of all outstanding descriptor set allocations from the pool plus the requested allocation requiring no more than the total number of descriptors requested at pool creation. Implementations provide certain guarantees of when fragmentation must not cause allocation failure, as described below.

If a descriptor pool has not had any descriptor sets freed since it was created or most recently reset then fragmentation must not cause an allocation failure (note that this is always the case for a pool created without the VK_DESCRIPTOR_POOL_CREATE_FREE_DESCRIPTOR_SET_BIT bit set). Additionally, if all sets allocated from the pool since it was created or most recently reset use the same number of descriptors (of each type) and the requested allocation also uses that same number of descriptors (of each type), then fragmentation must not cause an allocation failure.

If an allocation failure occurs due to fragmentation, an application can create an additional descriptor pool to perform further descriptor set allocations.

If flags has the VK_DESCRIPTOR_POOL_CREATE_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_BIT_EXT bit set, descriptor pool creation may fail with the error VK_ERROR_FRAGMENTATION_EXT if the total number of descriptors across all pools (including this one) created with this bit set exceeds maxUpdateAfterBindDescriptorsInAllPools, or if fragmentation of the underlying hardware resources occurs.

Valid Usage
  • maxSets must be greater than 0

Valid Usage (Implicit)

In order to be able to allocate descriptor sets having inline uniform block bindings the descriptor pool must be created with specifying the inline uniform block binding capacity of the descriptor pool, in addition to the total inline uniform data capacity in bytes which is specified through an instance of the VkDescriptorPoolSize structure with a descriptorType value of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT. This can be done by chaining an instance of the VkDescriptorPoolInlineUniformBlockCreateInfoEXT structure to the pNext chain of VkDescriptorPoolCreateInfo.

The VkDescriptorPoolInlineUniformBlockCreateInfoEXT structure is defined as:

typedef struct VkDescriptorPoolInlineUniformBlockCreateInfoEXT {
    VkStructureType    sType;
    const void*        pNext;
    uint32_t           maxInlineUniformBlockBindings;
} VkDescriptorPoolInlineUniformBlockCreateInfoEXT;
  • sType is the type of this structure.

  • pNext is NULL or a pointer to an extension-specific structure.

  • maxInlineUniformBlockBindings is the number of inline uniform block bindings to allocate.

Valid Usage (Implicit)
  • sType must be VK_STRUCTURE_TYPE_DESCRIPTOR_POOL_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_CREATE_INFO_EXT

Bits which can be set in VkDescriptorPoolCreateInfo::flags to enable operations on a descriptor pool are:

typedef enum VkDescriptorPoolCreateFlagBits {
    VK_DESCRIPTOR_POOL_CREATE_FREE_DESCRIPTOR_SET_BIT = 0x00000001,
    VK_DESCRIPTOR_POOL_CREATE_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_BIT_EXT = 0x00000002,
} VkDescriptorPoolCreateFlagBits;
  • VK_DESCRIPTOR_POOL_CREATE_FREE_DESCRIPTOR_SET_BIT specifies that descriptor sets can return their individual allocations to the pool, i.e. all of vkAllocateDescriptorSets, vkFreeDescriptorSets, and vkResetDescriptorPool are allowed. Otherwise, descriptor sets allocated from the pool must not be individually freed back to the pool, i.e. only vkAllocateDescriptorSets and vkResetDescriptorPool are allowed.

  • VK_DESCRIPTOR_POOL_CREATE_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_BIT_EXT specifies that descriptor sets allocated from this pool can include bindings with the VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_BIT_EXT bit set. It is valid to allocate descriptor sets that have bindings that do not set the VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_BIT_EXT bit from a pool that has VK_DESCRIPTOR_POOL_CREATE_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_BIT_EXT set.

typedef VkFlags VkDescriptorPoolCreateFlags;

VkDescriptorPoolCreateFlags is a bitmask type for setting a mask of zero or more VkDescriptorPoolCreateFlagBits.

The VkDescriptorPoolSize structure is defined as:

typedef struct VkDescriptorPoolSize {
    VkDescriptorType    type;
    uint32_t            descriptorCount;
} VkDescriptorPoolSize;
  • type is the type of descriptor.

  • descriptorCount is the number of descriptors of that type to allocate. If type is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT then descriptorCount is the number of bytes to allocate for descriptors of this type.

Valid Usage
  • descriptorCount must be greater than 0

  • If type is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT then descriptorCount must be a multiple of 4

Valid Usage (Implicit)

To destroy a descriptor pool, call:

void vkDestroyDescriptorPool(
    VkDevice                                    device,
    VkDescriptorPool                            descriptorPool,
    const VkAllocationCallbacks*                pAllocator);
  • device is the logical device that destroys the descriptor pool.

  • descriptorPool is the descriptor pool to destroy.

  • pAllocator controls host memory allocation as described in the Memory Allocation chapter.

When a pool is destroyed, all descriptor sets allocated from the pool are implicitly freed and become invalid. Descriptor sets allocated from a given pool do not need to be freed before destroying that descriptor pool.

Valid Usage
  • All submitted commands that refer to descriptorPool (via any allocated descriptor sets) must have completed execution

  • If VkAllocationCallbacks were provided when descriptorPool was created, a compatible set of callbacks must be provided here

  • If no VkAllocationCallbacks were provided when descriptorPool was created, pAllocator must be NULL

Valid Usage (Implicit)
  • device must be a valid VkDevice handle

  • If descriptorPool is not VK_NULL_HANDLE, descriptorPool must be a valid VkDescriptorPool handle

  • If pAllocator is not NULL, pAllocator must be a valid pointer to a valid VkAllocationCallbacks structure

  • If descriptorPool is a valid handle, it must have been created, allocated, or retrieved from device

Host Synchronization
  • Host access to descriptorPool must be externally synchronized

Descriptor sets are allocated from descriptor pool objects, and are represented by VkDescriptorSet handles:

VK_DEFINE_NON_DISPATCHABLE_HANDLE(VkDescriptorSet)

To allocate descriptor sets from a descriptor pool, call:

VkResult vkAllocateDescriptorSets(
    VkDevice                                    device,
    const VkDescriptorSetAllocateInfo*          pAllocateInfo,
    VkDescriptorSet*                            pDescriptorSets);
  • device is the logical device that owns the descriptor pool.

  • pAllocateInfo is a pointer to an instance of the VkDescriptorSetAllocateInfo structure describing parameters of the allocation.

  • pDescriptorSets is a pointer to an array of VkDescriptorSet handles in which the resulting descriptor set objects are returned.

The allocated descriptor sets are returned in pDescriptorSets.

When a descriptor set is allocated, the initial state is largely uninitialized and all descriptors are undefined. However, the descriptor set can be bound in a command buffer without causing errors or exceptions. For descriptor set bindings created with the VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_PARTIALLY_BOUND_BIT_EXT bit set, all descriptors in that binding that are dynamically used must have been populated before the descriptor set is consumed. For descriptor set bindings created without the VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_PARTIALLY_BOUND_BIT_EXT bit set, all descriptors in that binding that are statically used must have been populated before the descriptor set is consumed. Descriptor bindings with descriptor type of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT need not be populated before the descriptor set is consumed. Entries that are not used by a pipeline can have uninitialized descriptors or descriptors of resources that have been destroyed, and executing a draw or dispatch with such a descriptor set bound does not cause undefined behavior. This means applications need not populate unused entries with dummy descriptors.

If a call to vkAllocateDescriptorSets would cause the total number of descriptor sets allocated from the pool to exceed the value of VkDescriptorPoolCreateInfo::maxSets used to create pAllocateInfodescriptorPool, then the allocation may fail due to lack of space in the descriptor pool. Similarly, the allocation may fail due to lack of space if the call to vkAllocateDescriptorSets would cause the number of any given descriptor type to exceed the sum of all the descriptorCount members of each element of VkDescriptorPoolCreateInfo::pPoolSizes with a member equal to that type.

Additionally, the allocation may also fail if a call to vkAllocateDescriptorSets would cause the total number of inline uniform block bindings allocated from the pool to exceed the value of VkDescriptorPoolInlineUniformBlockCreateInfoEXT::maxInlineUniformBlockBindings used to create the descriptor pool.

If the allocation fails due to no more space in the descriptor pool, and not because of system or device memory exhaustion, then VK_ERROR_OUT_OF_POOL_MEMORY must be returned.

vkAllocateDescriptorSets can be used to create multiple descriptor sets. If the creation of any of those descriptor sets fails, then the implementation must destroy all successfully created descriptor set objects from this command, set all entries of the pDescriptorSets array to VK_NULL_HANDLE and return the error.

Valid Usage (Implicit)
  • device must be a valid VkDevice handle

  • pAllocateInfo must be a valid pointer to a valid VkDescriptorSetAllocateInfo structure

  • pDescriptorSets must be a valid pointer to an array of pAllocateInfo::descriptorSetCount VkDescriptorSet handles

Host Synchronization
  • Host access to pAllocateInfo::descriptorPool must be externally synchronized

Return Codes
Success
  • VK_SUCCESS

Failure
  • VK_ERROR_OUT_OF_HOST_MEMORY

  • VK_ERROR_OUT_OF_DEVICE_MEMORY

  • VK_ERROR_FRAGMENTED_POOL

  • VK_ERROR_OUT_OF_POOL_MEMORY

The VkDescriptorSetAllocateInfo structure is defined as:

typedef struct VkDescriptorSetAllocateInfo {
    VkStructureType                 sType;
    const void*                     pNext;
    VkDescriptorPool                descriptorPool;
    uint32_t                        descriptorSetCount;
    const VkDescriptorSetLayout*    pSetLayouts;
} VkDescriptorSetAllocateInfo;
  • sType is the type of this structure.

  • pNext is NULL or a pointer to an extension-specific structure.

  • descriptorPool is the pool which the sets will be allocated from.

  • descriptorSetCount determines the number of descriptor sets to be allocated from the pool.

  • pSetLayouts is an array of descriptor set layouts, with each member specifying how the corresponding descriptor set is allocated.

Valid Usage
  • Each element of pSetLayouts must not have been created with VK_DESCRIPTOR_SET_LAYOUT_CREATE_PUSH_DESCRIPTOR_BIT_KHR set

  • If any element of pSetLayouts was created with the VK_DESCRIPTOR_SET_LAYOUT_CREATE_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_POOL_BIT_EXT bit set, descriptorPool must have been created with the VK_DESCRIPTOR_POOL_CREATE_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_BIT_EXT flag set

Valid Usage (Implicit)
  • sType must be VK_STRUCTURE_TYPE_DESCRIPTOR_SET_ALLOCATE_INFO

  • pNext must be NULL or a pointer to a valid instance of VkDescriptorSetVariableDescriptorCountAllocateInfoEXT

  • descriptorPool must be a valid VkDescriptorPool handle

  • pSetLayouts must be a valid pointer to an array of descriptorSetCount valid VkDescriptorSetLayout handles

  • descriptorSetCount must be greater than 0

  • Both of descriptorPool, and the elements of pSetLayouts must have been created, allocated, or retrieved from the same VkDevice

If the pNext chain of a VkDescriptorSetAllocateInfo structure includes a VkDescriptorSetVariableDescriptorCountAllocateInfoEXT structure, then that structure includes an array of descriptor counts for variable descriptor count bindings, one for each descriptor set being allocated.

The VkDescriptorSetVariableDescriptorCountAllocateInfoEXT structure is defined as:

typedef struct VkDescriptorSetVariableDescriptorCountAllocateInfoEXT {
    VkStructureType    sType;
    const void*        pNext;
    uint32_t           descriptorSetCount;
    const uint32_t*    pDescriptorCounts;
} VkDescriptorSetVariableDescriptorCountAllocateInfoEXT;
  • sType is the type of this structure.

  • pNext is NULL or a pointer to an extension-specific structure.

  • descriptorSetCount is zero or the number of elements in pDescriptorCounts.

  • pDescriptorCounts is an array of descriptor counts, with each member specifying the number of descriptors in a variable descriptor count binding in the corresponding descriptor set being allocated.

If descriptorSetCount is zero or this structure is not included in the pNext chain, then the variable lengths are considered to be zero. Otherwise, pDescriptorCounts[i] is the number of descriptors in the variable count descriptor binding in the corresponding descriptor set layout. If the variable count descriptor binding in the corresponding descriptor set layout has a descriptor type of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT then pDescriptorCounts[i] specifies the binding’s capacity in bytes. If VkDescriptorSetAllocateInfo::pSetLayouts[i] does not include a variable count descriptor binding, then pDescriptorCounts[i] is ignored.

Valid Usage
  • If descriptorSetCount is not zero, descriptorSetCount must equal VkDescriptorSetAllocateInfo::descriptorSetCount

  • If VkDescriptorSetAllocateInfo::pSetLayouts[i] has a variable descriptor count binding, then pDescriptorCounts[i] must be less than or equal to the descriptor count specified for that binding when the descriptor set layout was created.

Valid Usage (Implicit)
  • sType must be VK_STRUCTURE_TYPE_DESCRIPTOR_SET_VARIABLE_DESCRIPTOR_COUNT_ALLOCATE_INFO_EXT

  • If descriptorSetCount is not 0, pDescriptorCounts must be a valid pointer to an array of descriptorSetCount uint32_t values

To free allocated descriptor sets, call:

VkResult vkFreeDescriptorSets(
    VkDevice                                    device,
    VkDescriptorPool                            descriptorPool,
    uint32_t                                    descriptorSetCount,
    const VkDescriptorSet*                      pDescriptorSets);
  • device is the logical device that owns the descriptor pool.

  • descriptorPool is the descriptor pool from which the descriptor sets were allocated.

  • descriptorSetCount is the number of elements in the pDescriptorSets array.

  • pDescriptorSets is an array of handles to VkDescriptorSet objects.

After a successful call to vkFreeDescriptorSets, all descriptor sets in pDescriptorSets are invalid.

Valid Usage
  • All submitted commands that refer to any element of pDescriptorSets must have completed execution

  • pDescriptorSets must be a valid pointer to an array of descriptorSetCount VkDescriptorSet handles, each element of which must either be a valid handle or VK_NULL_HANDLE

  • Each valid handle in pDescriptorSets must have been allocated from descriptorPool

  • descriptorPool must have been created with the VK_DESCRIPTOR_POOL_CREATE_FREE_DESCRIPTOR_SET_BIT flag

Valid Usage (Implicit)
  • device must be a valid VkDevice handle

  • descriptorPool must be a valid VkDescriptorPool handle

  • descriptorSetCount must be greater than 0

  • descriptorPool must have been created, allocated, or retrieved from device

  • Each element of pDescriptorSets that is a valid handle must have been created, allocated, or retrieved from descriptorPool

Host Synchronization
  • Host access to descriptorPool must be externally synchronized

  • Host access to each member of pDescriptorSets must be externally synchronized

Return Codes
Success
  • VK_SUCCESS

Failure
  • VK_ERROR_OUT_OF_HOST_MEMORY

  • VK_ERROR_OUT_OF_DEVICE_MEMORY

To return all descriptor sets allocated from a given pool to the pool, rather than freeing individual descriptor sets, call:

VkResult vkResetDescriptorPool(
    VkDevice                                    device,
    VkDescriptorPool                            descriptorPool,
    VkDescriptorPoolResetFlags                  flags);
  • device is the logical device that owns the descriptor pool.

  • descriptorPool is the descriptor pool to be reset.

  • flags is reserved for future use.

Resetting a descriptor pool recycles all of the resources from all of the descriptor sets allocated from the descriptor pool back to the descriptor pool, and the descriptor sets are implicitly freed.

Valid Usage
  • All uses of descriptorPool (via any allocated descriptor sets) must have completed execution

Valid Usage (Implicit)
  • device must be a valid VkDevice handle

  • descriptorPool must be a valid VkDescriptorPool handle

  • flags must be 0

  • descriptorPool must have been created, allocated, or retrieved from device

Host Synchronization
  • Host access to descriptorPool must be externally synchronized

  • Host access to any VkDescriptorSet objects allocated from descriptorPool must be externally synchronized

Return Codes
Success
  • VK_SUCCESS

Failure
  • VK_ERROR_OUT_OF_HOST_MEMORY

  • VK_ERROR_OUT_OF_DEVICE_MEMORY

typedef VkFlags VkDescriptorPoolResetFlags;

VkDescriptorPoolResetFlags is a bitmask type for setting a mask, but is currently reserved for future use.

13.2.4. Descriptor Set Updates

Once allocated, descriptor sets can be updated with a combination of write and copy operations. To update descriptor sets, call:

void vkUpdateDescriptorSets(
    VkDevice                                    device,
    uint32_t                                    descriptorWriteCount,
    const VkWriteDescriptorSet*                 pDescriptorWrites,
    uint32_t                                    descriptorCopyCount,
    const VkCopyDescriptorSet*                  pDescriptorCopies);
  • device is the logical device that updates the descriptor sets.

  • descriptorWriteCount is the number of elements in the pDescriptorWrites array.

  • pDescriptorWrites is a pointer to an array of VkWriteDescriptorSet structures describing the descriptor sets to write to.

  • descriptorCopyCount is the number of elements in the pDescriptorCopies array.

  • pDescriptorCopies is a pointer to an array of VkCopyDescriptorSet structures describing the descriptor sets to copy between.

The operations described by pDescriptorWrites are performed first, followed by the operations described by pDescriptorCopies. Within each array, the operations are performed in the order they appear in the array.

Each element in the pDescriptorWrites array describes an operation updating the descriptor set using descriptors for resources specified in the structure.

Each element in the pDescriptorCopies array is a VkCopyDescriptorSet structure describing an operation copying descriptors between sets.

If the dstSet member of any element of pDescriptorWrites or pDescriptorCopies is bound, accessed, or modified by any command that was recorded to a command buffer which is currently in the recording or executable state, and any of the descriptor bindings that are updated were not created with the VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_BIT_EXT or VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_UPDATE_UNUSED_WHILE_PENDING_BIT_EXT bits set, that command buffer becomes invalid.

Valid Usage
  • Descriptor bindings updated by this command which were created without the VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_BIT_EXT or VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_UPDATE_UNUSED_WHILE_PENDING_BIT_EXT bits set must not be used by any command that was recorded to a command buffer which is in the pending state.

Valid Usage (Implicit)
  • device must be a valid VkDevice handle

  • If descriptorWriteCount is not 0, pDescriptorWrites must be a valid pointer to an array of descriptorWriteCount valid VkWriteDescriptorSet structures

  • If descriptorCopyCount is not 0, pDescriptorCopies must be a valid pointer to an array of descriptorCopyCount valid VkCopyDescriptorSet structures

Host Synchronization
  • Host access to pDescriptorWrites[].dstSet must be externally synchronized

  • Host access to pDescriptorCopies[].dstSet must be externally synchronized

The VkWriteDescriptorSet structure is defined as:

typedef struct VkWriteDescriptorSet {
    VkStructureType                  sType;
    const void*                      pNext;
    VkDescriptorSet                  dstSet;
    uint32_t                         dstBinding;
    uint32_t                         dstArrayElement;
    uint32_t                         descriptorCount;
    VkDescriptorType                 descriptorType;
    const VkDescriptorImageInfo*     pImageInfo;
    const VkDescriptorBufferInfo*    pBufferInfo;
    const VkBufferView*              pTexelBufferView;
} VkWriteDescriptorSet;
  • sType is the type of this structure.

  • pNext is NULL or a pointer to an extension-specific structure.

  • dstSet is the destination descriptor set to update.

  • dstBinding is the descriptor binding within that set.

  • dstArrayElement is the starting element in that array. If the descriptor binding identified by dstSet and dstBinding has a descriptor type of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT then dstArrayElement specifies the starting byte offset within the binding.

  • descriptorCount is the number of descriptors to update (the number of elements in pImageInfo, pBufferInfo, or pTexelBufferView , or a value matching the dataSize member of an instance of VkWriteDescriptorSetInlineUniformBlockEXT in the pNext chain , or a value matching the accelerationStructureCount of an instance of VkWriteDescriptorSetAccelerationStructureNV in the pNext chain ). If the descriptor binding identified by dstSet and dstBinding has a descriptor type of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT then descriptorCount specifies the number of bytes to update.

  • descriptorType is a VkDescriptorType specifying the type of each descriptor in pImageInfo, pBufferInfo, or pTexelBufferView, as described below. It must be the same type as that specified in VkDescriptorSetLayoutBinding for dstSet at dstBinding. The type of the descriptor also controls which array the descriptors are taken from.

  • pImageInfo points to an array of VkDescriptorImageInfo structures or is ignored, as described below.

  • pBufferInfo points to an array of VkDescriptorBufferInfo structures or is ignored, as described below.

  • pTexelBufferView points to an array of VkBufferView handles as described in the Buffer Views section or is ignored, as described below.

Only one of pImageInfo, pBufferInfo, or pTexelBufferView members is used according to the descriptor type specified in the descriptorType member of the containing VkWriteDescriptorSet structure, or none of them in case descriptorType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT, in which case the source data for the descriptor writes is taken from the instance of VkWriteDescriptorSetInlineUniformBlockEXT in the pNext chain of VkWriteDescriptorSet, or if descriptorType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_ACCELERATION_STRUCTURE_NV, in which case the source data for the descriptor writes is taken from the instance of VkWriteDescriptorSetAccelerationStructureNV in the pNext chain of VkWriteDescriptorSet, as specified below.

If the dstBinding has fewer than descriptorCount array elements remaining starting from dstArrayElement, then the remainder will be used to update the subsequent binding - dstBinding+1 starting at array element zero. If a binding has a descriptorCount of zero, it is skipped. This behavior applies recursively, with the update affecting consecutive bindings as needed to update all descriptorCount descriptors.

Note

The same behavior applies to bindings with a descriptor type of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT where descriptorCount specifies the number of bytes to update while dstArrayElement specifies the starting byte offset, thus in this case if the dstBinding has a smaller byte size than the sum of dstArrayElement and descriptorCount, then the remainder will be used to update the subsequent binding - dstBinding+1 starting at offset zero. This falls out as a special case of the above rule.

Valid Usage
  • dstBinding must be less than or equal to the maximum value of binding of all VkDescriptorSetLayoutBinding structures specified when dstSet’s descriptor set layout was created

  • dstBinding must be a binding with a non-zero descriptorCount

  • All consecutive bindings updated via a single VkWriteDescriptorSet structure, except those with a descriptorCount of zero, must have identical descriptorType and stageFlags.

  • All consecutive bindings updated via a single VkWriteDescriptorSet structure, except those with a descriptorCount of zero, must all either use immutable samplers or must all not use immutable samplers.

  • descriptorType must match the type of dstBinding within dstSet

  • dstSet must be a valid VkDescriptorSet handle

  • The sum of dstArrayElement and descriptorCount must be less than or equal to the number of array elements in the descriptor set binding specified by dstBinding, and all applicable consecutive bindings, as described by consecutive binding updates

  • If descriptorType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT, dstArrayElement must be an integer multiple of 4

  • If descriptorType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT, descriptorCount must be an integer multiple of 4

  • If descriptorType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_SAMPLER, VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_COMBINED_IMAGE_SAMPLER, VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_SAMPLED_IMAGE, VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_IMAGE, or VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INPUT_ATTACHMENT, pImageInfo must be a valid pointer to an array of descriptorCount valid VkDescriptorImageInfo structures

  • If descriptorType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_TEXEL_BUFFER or VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_TEXEL_BUFFER, pTexelBufferView must be a valid pointer to an array of descriptorCount valid VkBufferView handles

  • If descriptorType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_BUFFER, VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_BUFFER, VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_BUFFER_DYNAMIC, or VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_BUFFER_DYNAMIC, pBufferInfo must be a valid pointer to an array of descriptorCount valid VkDescriptorBufferInfo structures

  • If descriptorType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_SAMPLER or VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_COMBINED_IMAGE_SAMPLER, and dstSet was not allocated with a layout that included immutable samplers for dstBinding with descriptorType, the sampler member of each element of pImageInfo must be a valid VkSampler object

  • If descriptorType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_COMBINED_IMAGE_SAMPLER, VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_SAMPLED_IMAGE, VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_IMAGE, or VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INPUT_ATTACHMENT, the imageView and imageLayout members of each element of pImageInfo must be a valid VkImageView and VkImageLayout, respectively

  • If descriptorType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT, the pNext chain must include a VkWriteDescriptorSetInlineUniformBlockEXT structure whose dataSize member equals descriptorCount

  • If descriptorType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_ACCELERATION_STRUCTURE_NV, the pNext chain must include a VkWriteDescriptorSetAccelerationStructureNV structure whose accelerationStructureCount member equals descriptorCount

  • If descriptorType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_SAMPLED_IMAGE, then the imageView member of each pImageInfo element must have been created without a VkSamplerYcbcrConversionInfo structure in its pNext chain

  • If descriptorType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_COMBINED_IMAGE_SAMPLER, and if any element of pImageInfo has a imageView member that was created with a VkSamplerYcbcrConversionInfo structure in its pNext chain, then dstSet must have been allocated with a layout that included immutable samplers for dstBinding

  • If descriptorType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_COMBINED_IMAGE_SAMPLER, and dstSet was allocated with a layout that included immutable samplers for dstBinding, then the imageView member of each element of pImageInfo which corresponds to an immutable sampler that enables sampler Y’CBCR conversion must have been created with a VkSamplerYcbcrConversionInfo structure in its pNext chain with an identically defined VkSamplerYcbcrConversionInfo to the corresponding immutable sampler

  • If descriptorType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_IMAGE, for each descriptor that will be accessed via load or store operations the imageLayout member for corresponding elements of pImageInfo must be VK_IMAGE_LAYOUT_GENERAL

  • If descriptorType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_BUFFER or VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_BUFFER_DYNAMIC, the offset member of each element of pBufferInfo must be a multiple of VkPhysicalDeviceLimits::minUniformBufferOffsetAlignment

  • If descriptorType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_BUFFER or VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_BUFFER_DYNAMIC, the offset member of each element of pBufferInfo must be a multiple of VkPhysicalDeviceLimits::minStorageBufferOffsetAlignment

  • If descriptorType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_BUFFER, VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_BUFFER_DYNAMIC, VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_BUFFER, or VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_BUFFER_DYNAMIC, and the buffer member of any element of pBufferInfo is the handle of a non-sparse buffer, then that buffer must be bound completely and contiguously to a single VkDeviceMemory object

  • If descriptorType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_BUFFER or VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_BUFFER_DYNAMIC, the buffer member of each element of pBufferInfo must have been created with VK_BUFFER_USAGE_UNIFORM_BUFFER_BIT set

  • If descriptorType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_BUFFER or VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_BUFFER_DYNAMIC, the buffer member of each element of pBufferInfo must have been created with VK_BUFFER_USAGE_STORAGE_BUFFER_BIT set

  • If descriptorType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_BUFFER or VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_BUFFER_DYNAMIC, the range member of each element of pBufferInfo, or the effective range if range is VK_WHOLE_SIZE, must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceLimits::maxUniformBufferRange

  • If descriptorType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_BUFFER or VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_BUFFER_DYNAMIC, the range member of each element of pBufferInfo, or the effective range if range is VK_WHOLE_SIZE, must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceLimits::maxStorageBufferRange

  • If descriptorType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_TEXEL_BUFFER, the VkBuffer that each element of pTexelBufferView was created from must have been created with VK_BUFFER_USAGE_UNIFORM_TEXEL_BUFFER_BIT set

  • If descriptorType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_TEXEL_BUFFER, the VkBuffer that each element of pTexelBufferView was created from must have been created with VK_BUFFER_USAGE_STORAGE_TEXEL_BUFFER_BIT set

  • If descriptorType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_IMAGE or VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INPUT_ATTACHMENT, the imageView member of each element of pImageInfo must have been created with the identity swizzle

  • If descriptorType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_SAMPLED_IMAGE or VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_COMBINED_IMAGE_SAMPLER, the imageView member of each element of pImageInfo must have been created with VK_IMAGE_USAGE_SAMPLED_BIT set

  • If descriptorType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_SAMPLED_IMAGE or VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_COMBINED_IMAGE_SAMPLER, the imageLayout member of each element of pImageInfo must be VK_IMAGE_LAYOUT_SHADER_READ_ONLY_OPTIMAL, VK_IMAGE_LAYOUT_DEPTH_STENCIL_READ_ONLY_OPTIMAL or VK_IMAGE_LAYOUT_GENERAL

  • If descriptorType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INPUT_ATTACHMENT, the imageView member of each element of pImageInfo must have been created with VK_IMAGE_USAGE_INPUT_ATTACHMENT_BIT set

  • If descriptorType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_IMAGE, the imageView member of each element of pImageInfo must have been created with VK_IMAGE_USAGE_STORAGE_BIT set

  • All consecutive bindings updated via a single VkWriteDescriptorSet structure, except those with a descriptorCount of zero, must have identical VkDescriptorBindingFlagBitsEXT.

Valid Usage (Implicit)
  • sType must be VK_STRUCTURE_TYPE_WRITE_DESCRIPTOR_SET

  • Each pNext member of any structure (including this one) in the pNext chain must be either NULL or a pointer to a valid instance of VkWriteDescriptorSetAccelerationStructureNV or VkWriteDescriptorSetInlineUniformBlockEXT

  • Each sType member in the pNext chain must be unique

  • descriptorType must be a valid VkDescriptorType value

  • descriptorCount must be greater than 0

  • Both of dstSet, and the elements of pTexelBufferView that are valid handles must have been created, allocated, or retrieved from the same VkDevice

The type of descriptors in a descriptor set is specified by VkWriteDescriptorSet::descriptorType, which must be one of the values:

typedef enum VkDescriptorType {
    VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_SAMPLER = 0,
    VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_COMBINED_IMAGE_SAMPLER = 1,
    VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_SAMPLED_IMAGE = 2,
    VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_IMAGE = 3,
    VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_TEXEL_BUFFER = 4,
    VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_TEXEL_BUFFER = 5,
    VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_BUFFER = 6,
    VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_BUFFER = 7,
    VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_BUFFER_DYNAMIC = 8,
    VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_BUFFER_DYNAMIC = 9,
    VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INPUT_ATTACHMENT = 10,
    VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT = 1000138000,
    VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_ACCELERATION_STRUCTURE_NV = 1000165000,
} VkDescriptorType;

When a descriptor set is updated via elements of VkWriteDescriptorSet, members of pImageInfo, pBufferInfo and pTexelBufferView are only accessed by the implementation when they correspond to descriptor type being defined - otherwise they are ignored. The members accessed are as follows for each descriptor type:

  • For VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_SAMPLER, only the sampler member of each element of VkWriteDescriptorSet::pImageInfo is accessed.

  • For VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_SAMPLED_IMAGE, VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_IMAGE, or VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INPUT_ATTACHMENT, only the imageView and imageLayout members of each element of VkWriteDescriptorSet::pImageInfo are accessed.

  • For VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_COMBINED_IMAGE_SAMPLER, all members of each element of VkWriteDescriptorSet::pImageInfo are accessed.

  • For VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_BUFFER, VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_BUFFER, VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_BUFFER_DYNAMIC, or VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_BUFFER_DYNAMIC, all members of each element of VkWriteDescriptorSet::pBufferInfo are accessed.

  • For VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_TEXEL_BUFFER or VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_TEXEL_BUFFER, each element of VkWriteDescriptorSet::pTexelBufferView is accessed.

When updating descriptors with a descriptorType of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT, none of the pImageInfo, pBufferInfo, or pTexelBufferView members are accessed, instead the source data of the descriptor update operation is taken from the instance of VkWriteDescriptorSetInlineUniformBlockEXT in the pNext chain of VkWriteDescriptorSet. When updating descriptors with a descriptorType of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_ACCELERATION_STRUCTURE_NV, none of the pImageInfo, pBufferInfo, or pTexelBufferView members are accessed, instead the source data of the descriptor update operation is taken from the instance of VkWriteDescriptorSetAccelerationStructureNV in the pNext chain of VkWriteDescriptorSet.

The VkDescriptorBufferInfo structure is defined as:

typedef struct VkDescriptorBufferInfo {
    VkBuffer        buffer;
    VkDeviceSize    offset;
    VkDeviceSize    range;
} VkDescriptorBufferInfo;
  • buffer is the buffer resource.

  • offset is the offset in bytes from the start of buffer. Access to buffer memory via this descriptor uses addressing that is relative to this starting offset.

  • range is the size in bytes that is used for this descriptor update, or VK_WHOLE_SIZE to use the range from offset to the end of the buffer.

Note

When setting range to VK_WHOLE_SIZE, the effective range must not be larger than the maximum range for the descriptor type (maxUniformBufferRange or maxStorageBufferRange). This means that VK_WHOLE_SIZE is not typically useful in the common case where uniform buffer descriptors are suballocated from a buffer that is much larger than maxUniformBufferRange.

For VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_BUFFER_DYNAMIC and VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_BUFFER_DYNAMIC descriptor types, offset is the base offset from which the dynamic offset is applied and range is the static size used for all dynamic offsets.

Valid Usage
  • offset must be less than the size of buffer

  • If range is not equal to VK_WHOLE_SIZE, range must be greater than 0

  • If range is not equal to VK_WHOLE_SIZE, range must be less than or equal to the size of buffer minus offset

Valid Usage (Implicit)
  • buffer must be a valid VkBuffer handle

The VkDescriptorImageInfo structure is defined as:

typedef struct VkDescriptorImageInfo {
    VkSampler        sampler;
    VkImageView      imageView;
    VkImageLayout    imageLayout;
} VkDescriptorImageInfo;
  • sampler is a sampler handle, and is used in descriptor updates for types VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_SAMPLER and VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_COMBINED_IMAGE_SAMPLER if the binding being updated does not use immutable samplers.

  • imageView is an image view handle, and is used in descriptor updates for types VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_SAMPLED_IMAGE, VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_IMAGE, VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_COMBINED_IMAGE_SAMPLER, and VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INPUT_ATTACHMENT.

  • imageLayout is the layout that the image subresources accessible from imageView will be in at the time this descriptor is accessed. imageLayout is used in descriptor updates for types VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_SAMPLED_IMAGE, VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_IMAGE, VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_COMBINED_IMAGE_SAMPLER, and VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INPUT_ATTACHMENT.

Members of VkDescriptorImageInfo that are not used in an update (as described above) are ignored.

Valid Usage
  • imageView must not be 2D or 2D array image view created from a 3D image

  • If imageView is created from a depth/stencil image, the aspectMask used to create the imageView must include either VK_IMAGE_ASPECT_DEPTH_BIT or VK_IMAGE_ASPECT_STENCIL_BIT but not both.

  • imageLayout must match the actual VkImageLayout of each subresource accessible from imageView at the time this descriptor is accessed as defined by the image layout matching rules

  • If sampler is used and the VkFormat of the image is a multi-planar format, the image must have been created with VK_IMAGE_CREATE_MUTABLE_FORMAT_BIT, and the aspectMask of the imageView must be VK_IMAGE_ASPECT_PLANE_0_BIT, VK_IMAGE_ASPECT_PLANE_1_BIT or (for three-plane formats only) VK_IMAGE_ASPECT_PLANE_2_BIT

Valid Usage (Implicit)
  • Both of imageView, and sampler that are valid handles must have been created, allocated, or retrieved from the same VkDevice

If the descriptorType member of VkWriteDescriptorSet is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT then the data to write to the descriptor set is specified through an instance of VkWriteDescriptorSetInlineUniformBlockEXT chained to the pNext chain of VkWriteDescriptorSet.

The VkWriteDescriptorSetInlineUniformBlockEXT structure is defined as:

typedef struct VkWriteDescriptorSetInlineUniformBlockEXT {
    VkStructureType    sType;
    const void*        pNext;
    uint32_t           dataSize;
    const void*        pData;
} VkWriteDescriptorSetInlineUniformBlockEXT;
  • sType is the type of this structure.

  • pNext is NULL or a pointer to an extension-specific structure.

  • dataSize is the number of bytes of inline uniform block data pointed to by pData.

  • pData is a pointer to dataSize number of bytes of data to write to the inline uniform block.

Valid Usage
  • dataSize must be an integer multiple of 4

Valid Usage (Implicit)
  • sType must be VK_STRUCTURE_TYPE_WRITE_DESCRIPTOR_SET_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT

  • pData must be a valid pointer to an array of dataSize bytes

  • dataSize must be greater than 0

13.2.5. Acceleration Structure

An acceleration structure (VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_ACCELERATION_STRUCTURE_NV) is a descriptor type that is used to retrieve scene geometry from within shaders bound to ray tracing pipelines. Shaders have read-only access to the memory.

The VkWriteDescriptorSetAccelerationStructureNV structure is defined as:

typedef struct VkWriteDescriptorSetAccelerationStructureNV {
    VkStructureType                     sType;
    const void*                         pNext;
    uint32_t                            accelerationStructureCount;
    const VkAccelerationStructureNV*    pAccelerationStructures;
} VkWriteDescriptorSetAccelerationStructureNV;
  • sType is the type of this structure.

  • pNext is NULL or a pointer to an extension-specific structure.

  • accelerationStructureCount is the number of elements in pAccelerationStructures

  • pAccelerationStructures are the acceleration structures to update

Valid Usage
  • accelerationStructureCount must be equal to descriptorCount in the extended structure.

Valid Usage (Implicit)
  • sType must be VK_STRUCTURE_TYPE_WRITE_DESCRIPTOR_SET_ACCELERATION_STRUCTURE_NV

  • pAccelerationStructures must be a valid pointer to an array of accelerationStructureCount valid VkAccelerationStructureNV handles

  • accelerationStructureCount must be greater than 0

The VkCopyDescriptorSet structure is defined as:

typedef struct VkCopyDescriptorSet {
    VkStructureType    sType;
    const void*        pNext;
    VkDescriptorSet    srcSet;
    uint32_t           srcBinding;
    uint32_t           srcArrayElement;
    VkDescriptorSet    dstSet;
    uint32_t           dstBinding;
    uint32_t           dstArrayElement;
    uint32_t           descriptorCount;
} VkCopyDescriptorSet;
  • sType is the type of this structure.

  • pNext is NULL or a pointer to an extension-specific structure.

  • srcSet, srcBinding, and srcArrayElement are the source set, binding, and array element, respectively. If the descriptor binding identified by srcSet and srcBinding has a descriptor type of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT then srcArrayElement specifies the starting byte offset within the binding to copy from.

  • dstSet, dstBinding, and dstArrayElement are the destination set, binding, and array element, respectively. If the descriptor binding identified by dstSet and dstBinding has a descriptor type of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT then dstArrayElement specifies the starting byte offset within the binding to copy to.

  • descriptorCount is the number of descriptors to copy from the source to destination. If descriptorCount is greater than the number of remaining array elements in the source or destination binding, those affect consecutive bindings in a manner similar to VkWriteDescriptorSet above. If the descriptor binding identified by srcSet and srcBinding has a descriptor type of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT then descriptorCount specifies the number of bytes to copy and the remaining array elements in the source or destination binding refer to the remaining number of bytes in those.

Valid Usage
  • srcBinding must be a valid binding within srcSet

  • The sum of srcArrayElement and descriptorCount must be less than or equal to the number of array elements in the descriptor set binding specified by srcBinding, and all applicable consecutive bindings, as described by consecutive binding updates

  • dstBinding must be a valid binding within dstSet

  • The sum of dstArrayElement and descriptorCount must be less than or equal to the number of array elements in the descriptor set binding specified by dstBinding, and all applicable consecutive bindings, as described by consecutive binding updates

  • If srcSet is equal to dstSet, then the source and destination ranges of descriptors must not overlap, where the ranges may include array elements from consecutive bindings as described by consecutive binding updates

  • If the descriptor type of the descriptor set binding specified by srcBinding is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT, srcArrayElement must be an integer multiple of 4

  • If the descriptor type of the descriptor set binding specified by dstBinding is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT, dstArrayElement must be an integer multiple of 4

  • If the descriptor type of the descriptor set binding specified by either srcBinding or dstBinding is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT, descriptorCount must be an integer multiple of 4

  • If srcSet’s layout was created with the VK_DESCRIPTOR_SET_LAYOUT_CREATE_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_POOL_BIT_EXT flag set, then dstSet’s layout must also have been created with the VK_DESCRIPTOR_SET_LAYOUT_CREATE_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_POOL_BIT_EXT flag set

  • If srcSet’s layout was created without the VK_DESCRIPTOR_SET_LAYOUT_CREATE_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_POOL_BIT_EXT flag set, then dstSet’s layout must also have been created without the VK_DESCRIPTOR_SET_LAYOUT_CREATE_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_POOL_BIT_EXT flag set

  • If the descriptor pool from which srcSet was allocated was created with the VK_DESCRIPTOR_POOL_CREATE_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_BIT_EXT flag set, then the descriptor pool from which dstSet was allocated must also have been created with the VK_DESCRIPTOR_POOL_CREATE_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_BIT_EXT flag set

  • If the descriptor pool from which srcSet was allocated was created without the VK_DESCRIPTOR_POOL_CREATE_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_BIT_EXT flag set, then the descriptor pool from which dstSet was allocated must also have been created without the VK_DESCRIPTOR_POOL_CREATE_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_BIT_EXT flag set

Valid Usage (Implicit)
  • sType must be VK_STRUCTURE_TYPE_COPY_DESCRIPTOR_SET

  • pNext must be NULL

  • srcSet must be a valid VkDescriptorSet handle

  • dstSet must be a valid VkDescriptorSet handle

  • Both of dstSet, and srcSet must have been created, allocated, or retrieved from the same VkDevice

13.2.6. Descriptor Update Templates

A descriptor update template specifies a mapping from descriptor update information in host memory to descriptors in a descriptor set. It is designed to avoid passing redundant information to the driver when frequently updating the same set of descriptors in descriptor sets.

Descriptor update template objects are represented by VkDescriptorUpdateTemplate handles:

VK_DEFINE_NON_DISPATCHABLE_HANDLE(VkDescriptorUpdateTemplate)

or the equivalent

typedef VkDescriptorUpdateTemplate VkDescriptorUpdateTemplateKHR;

13.2.7. Descriptor Set Updates with Templates

Updating a large VkDescriptorSet array can be an expensive operation since an application must specify one VkWriteDescriptorSet structure for each descriptor or descriptor array to update, each of which re-specifies the same state when updating the same descriptor in multiple descriptor sets. For cases when an application wishes to update the same set of descriptors in multiple descriptor sets allocated using the same VkDescriptorSetLayout, vkUpdateDescriptorSetWithTemplate can be used as a replacement for vkUpdateDescriptorSets.

VkDescriptorUpdateTemplate allows implementations to convert a set of descriptor update operations on a single descriptor set to an internal format that, in conjunction with vkUpdateDescriptorSetWithTemplate or vkCmdPushDescriptorSetWithTemplateKHR , can be more efficient compared to calling vkUpdateDescriptorSets or vkCmdPushDescriptorSetKHR . The descriptors themselves are not specified in the VkDescriptorUpdateTemplate, rather, offsets into an application provided pointer to host memory are specified, which are combined with a pointer passed to vkUpdateDescriptorSetWithTemplate or vkCmdPushDescriptorSetWithTemplateKHR . This allows large batches of updates to be executed without having to convert application data structures into a strictly-defined Vulkan data structure.

To create a descriptor update template, call:

VkResult vkCreateDescriptorUpdateTemplate(
    VkDevice                                    device,
    const VkDescriptorUpdateTemplateCreateInfo* pCreateInfo,
    const VkAllocationCallbacks*                pAllocator,
    VkDescriptorUpdateTemplate*                 pDescriptorUpdateTemplate);

or the equivalent command

VkResult vkCreateDescriptorUpdateTemplateKHR(
    VkDevice                                    device,
    const VkDescriptorUpdateTemplateCreateInfo* pCreateInfo,
    const VkAllocationCallbacks*                pAllocator,
    VkDescriptorUpdateTemplate*                 pDescriptorUpdateTemplate);
Valid Usage (Implicit)
  • device must be a valid VkDevice handle

  • pCreateInfo must be a valid pointer to a valid VkDescriptorUpdateTemplateCreateInfo structure

  • If pAllocator is not NULL, pAllocator must be a valid pointer to a valid VkAllocationCallbacks structure

  • pDescriptorUpdateTemplate must be a valid pointer to a VkDescriptorUpdateTemplate handle

Return Codes
Success
  • VK_SUCCESS

Failure
  • VK_ERROR_OUT_OF_HOST_MEMORY

  • VK_ERROR_OUT_OF_DEVICE_MEMORY

The VkDescriptorUpdateTemplateCreateInfo structure is defined as:

typedef struct VkDescriptorUpdateTemplateCreateInfo {
    VkStructureType                           sType;
    void*                                     pNext;
    VkDescriptorUpdateTemplateCreateFlags     flags;
    uint32_t                                  descriptorUpdateEntryCount;
    const VkDescriptorUpdateTemplateEntry*    pDescriptorUpdateEntries;
    VkDescriptorUpdateTemplateType            templateType;
    VkDescriptorSetLayout                     descriptorSetLayout;
    VkPipelineBindPoint                       pipelineBindPoint;
    VkPipelineLayout                          pipelineLayout;
    uint32_t                                  set;
} VkDescriptorUpdateTemplateCreateInfo;

or the equivalent

typedef VkDescriptorUpdateTemplateCreateInfo VkDescriptorUpdateTemplateCreateInfoKHR;
  • sType is the type of this structure.

  • pNext is NULL or a pointer to an extension-specific structure.

  • flags is reserved for future use.

  • descriptorUpdateEntryCount is the number of elements in the pDescriptorUpdateEntries array.

  • pDescriptorUpdateEntries is a pointer to an array of VkDescriptorUpdateTemplateEntry structures describing the descriptors to be updated by the descriptor update template.

  • templateType Specifies the type of the descriptor update template. If set to VK_DESCRIPTOR_UPDATE_TEMPLATE_TYPE_DESCRIPTOR_SET it can only be used to update descriptor sets with a fixed descriptorSetLayout. If set to VK_DESCRIPTOR_UPDATE_TEMPLATE_TYPE_PUSH_DESCRIPTORS_KHR it can only be used to push descriptor sets using the provided pipelineBindPoint, pipelineLayout, and set number.

  • descriptorSetLayout is the descriptor set layout the parameter update template will be used with. All descriptor sets which are going to be updated through the newly created descriptor update template must be created with this layout. descriptorSetLayout is the descriptor set layout used to build the descriptor update template. All descriptor sets which are going to be updated through the newly created descriptor update template must be created with a layout that matches (is the same as, or defined identically to) this layout. This parameter is ignored if templateType is not VK_DESCRIPTOR_UPDATE_TEMPLATE_TYPE_DESCRIPTOR_SET.

  • pipelineBindPoint is a VkPipelineBindPoint indicating whether the descriptors will be used by graphics pipelines or compute pipelines. This parameter is ignored if templateType is not VK_DESCRIPTOR_UPDATE_TEMPLATE_TYPE_PUSH_DESCRIPTORS_KHR

  • pipelineLayout is a VkPipelineLayout object used to program the bindings. This parameter is ignored if templateType is not VK_DESCRIPTOR_UPDATE_TEMPLATE_TYPE_PUSH_DESCRIPTORS_KHR

  • set is the set number of the descriptor set in the pipeline layout that will be updated. This parameter is ignored if templateType is not VK_DESCRIPTOR_UPDATE_TEMPLATE_TYPE_PUSH_DESCRIPTORS_KHR

Valid Usage
  • If templateType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_UPDATE_TEMPLATE_TYPE_DESCRIPTOR_SET, descriptorSetLayout must be a valid VkDescriptorSetLayout handle

  • If templateType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_UPDATE_TEMPLATE_TYPE_PUSH_DESCRIPTORS_KHR, pipelineBindPoint must be a valid VkPipelineBindPoint value

  • If templateType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_UPDATE_TEMPLATE_TYPE_PUSH_DESCRIPTORS_KHR, pipelineLayout must be a valid VkPipelineLayout handle

  • If templateType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_UPDATE_TEMPLATE_TYPE_PUSH_DESCRIPTORS_KHR, set must be the unique set number in the pipeline layout that uses a descriptor set layout that was created with VK_DESCRIPTOR_SET_LAYOUT_CREATE_PUSH_DESCRIPTOR_BIT_KHR

Valid Usage (Implicit)
  • sType must be VK_STRUCTURE_TYPE_DESCRIPTOR_UPDATE_TEMPLATE_CREATE_INFO

  • pNext must be NULL

  • flags must be 0

  • pDescriptorUpdateEntries must be a valid pointer to an array of descriptorUpdateEntryCount valid VkDescriptorUpdateTemplateEntry structures

  • templateType must be a valid VkDescriptorUpdateTemplateType value

  • If descriptorSetLayout is not VK_NULL_HANDLE, descriptorSetLayout must be a valid VkDescriptorSetLayout handle

  • descriptorUpdateEntryCount must be greater than 0

  • Both of descriptorSetLayout, and pipelineLayout that are valid handles must have been created, allocated, or retrieved from the same VkDevice

typedef VkFlags VkDescriptorUpdateTemplateCreateFlags;

or the equivalent

typedef VkDescriptorUpdateTemplateCreateFlags VkDescriptorUpdateTemplateCreateFlagsKHR;

VkDescriptorUpdateTemplateCreateFlags is a bitmask type for setting a mask, but is currently reserved for future use.

The descriptor update template type is determined by the VkDescriptorUpdateTemplateCreateInfo::templateType property, which takes the following values:

typedef enum VkDescriptorUpdateTemplateType {
    VK_DESCRIPTOR_UPDATE_TEMPLATE_TYPE_DESCRIPTOR_SET = 0,
    VK_DESCRIPTOR_UPDATE_TEMPLATE_TYPE_PUSH_DESCRIPTORS_KHR = 1,
    VK_DESCRIPTOR_UPDATE_TEMPLATE_TYPE_DESCRIPTOR_SET_KHR = VK_DESCRIPTOR_UPDATE_TEMPLATE_TYPE_DESCRIPTOR_SET,
} VkDescriptorUpdateTemplateType;

or the equivalent

typedef VkDescriptorUpdateTemplateType VkDescriptorUpdateTemplateTypeKHR;
  • VK_DESCRIPTOR_UPDATE_TEMPLATE_TYPE_DESCRIPTOR_SET specifies that the descriptor update template will be used for descriptor set updates only.

  • VK_DESCRIPTOR_UPDATE_TEMPLATE_TYPE_PUSH_DESCRIPTORS_KHR specifies that the descriptor update template will be used for push descriptor updates only.

The VkDescriptorUpdateTemplateEntry structure is defined as:

typedef struct VkDescriptorUpdateTemplateEntry {
    uint32_t            dstBinding;
    uint32_t            dstArrayElement;
    uint32_t            descriptorCount;
    VkDescriptorType    descriptorType;
    size_t              offset;
    size_t              stride;
} VkDescriptorUpdateTemplateEntry;

or the equivalent

typedef VkDescriptorUpdateTemplateEntry VkDescriptorUpdateTemplateEntryKHR;
  • dstBinding is the descriptor binding to update when using this descriptor update template.

  • dstArrayElement is the starting element in the array belonging to dstBinding. If the descriptor binding identified by srcBinding has a descriptor type of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT then dstArrayElement specifies the starting byte offset to update.

  • descriptorCount is the number of descriptors to update. If descriptorCount is greater than the number of remaining array elements in the destination binding, those affect consecutive bindings in a manner similar to VkWriteDescriptorSet above. If the descriptor binding identified by dstBinding has a descriptor type of VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT then descriptorCount specifies the number of bytes to update and the remaining array elements in the destination binding refer to the remaining number of bytes in it.

  • descriptorType is a VkDescriptorType specifying the type of the descriptor.

  • offset is the offset in bytes of the first binding in the raw data structure.

  • stride is the stride in bytes between two consecutive array elements of the descriptor update informations in the raw data structure. The actual pointer ptr for each array element j of update entry i is computed using the following formula:

        const char *ptr = (const char *)pData + pDescriptorUpdateEntries[i].offset + j * pDescriptorUpdateEntries[i].stride

    The stride is useful in case the bindings are stored in structs along with other data. If descriptorType is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT then the value of stride is ignored and the stride is assumed to be 1, i.e. the descriptor update information for them is always specified as a contiguous range.

Valid Usage
  • dstBinding must be a valid binding in the descriptor set layout implicitly specified when using a descriptor update template to update descriptors.

  • dstArrayElement and descriptorCount must be less than or equal to the number of array elements in the descriptor set binding implicitly specified when using a descriptor update template to update descriptors, and all applicable consecutive bindings, as described by consecutive binding updates

  • If descriptor type is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT, dstArrayElement must be an integer multiple of 4

  • If descriptor type is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_INLINE_UNIFORM_BLOCK_EXT, descriptorCount must be an integer multiple of 4

Valid Usage (Implicit)

To destroy a descriptor update template, call:

void vkDestroyDescriptorUpdateTemplate(
    VkDevice                                    device,
    VkDescriptorUpdateTemplate                  descriptorUpdateTemplate,
    const VkAllocationCallbacks*                pAllocator);

or the equivalent command

void vkDestroyDescriptorUpdateTemplateKHR(
    VkDevice                                    device,
    VkDescriptorUpdateTemplate                  descriptorUpdateTemplate,
    const VkAllocationCallbacks*                pAllocator);
  • device is the logical device that has been used to create the descriptor update template

  • descriptorUpdateTemplate is the descriptor update template to destroy.

  • pAllocator controls host memory allocation as described in the Memory Allocation chapter.

Valid Usage
  • If VkAllocationCallbacks were provided when descriptorSetLayout was created, a compatible set of callbacks must be provided here

  • If no VkAllocationCallbacks were provided when descriptorSetLayout was created, pAllocator must be NULL

Valid Usage (Implicit)
  • device must be a valid VkDevice handle

  • If descriptorUpdateTemplate is not VK_NULL_HANDLE, descriptorUpdateTemplate must be a valid VkDescriptorUpdateTemplate handle

  • If pAllocator is not NULL, pAllocator must be a valid pointer to a valid VkAllocationCallbacks structure

  • If descriptorUpdateTemplate is a valid handle, it must have been created, allocated, or retrieved from device

Host Synchronization
  • Host access to descriptorUpdateTemplate must be externally synchronized

Once a VkDescriptorUpdateTemplate has been created, descriptor sets can be updated by calling:

void vkUpdateDescriptorSetWithTemplate(
    VkDevice                                    device,
    VkDescriptorSet                             descriptorSet,
    VkDescriptorUpdateTemplate                  descriptorUpdateTemplate,
    const void*                                 pData);

or the equivalent command

void vkUpdateDescriptorSetWithTemplateKHR(
    VkDevice                                    device,
    VkDescriptorSet                             descriptorSet,
    VkDescriptorUpdateTemplate                  descriptorUpdateTemplate,
    const void*                                 pData);
  • device is the logical device that updates the descriptor sets.

  • descriptorSet is the descriptor set to update

  • descriptorUpdateTemplate is the VkDescriptorUpdateTemplate which specifies the update mapping between pData and the descriptor set to update.

  • pData is a pointer to memory which contains one or more structures of VkDescriptorImageInfo, VkDescriptorBufferInfo, or VkBufferView used to write the descriptors.

Valid Usage
Valid Usage (Implicit)
  • device must be a valid VkDevice handle

  • descriptorSet must be a valid VkDescriptorSet handle

  • descriptorUpdateTemplate must be a valid VkDescriptorUpdateTemplate handle

  • descriptorUpdateTemplate must have been created, allocated, or retrieved from device

Host Synchronization
  • Host access to descriptorSet must be externally synchronized

API example
struct AppBufferView {
    VkBufferView bufferView;
    uint32_t     applicationRelatedInformation;
};

struct AppDataStructure
{
    VkDescriptorImageInfo  imageInfo;          // a single image info
    VkDescriptorBufferInfo bufferInfoArray[3]; // 3 buffer infos in an array
    AppBufferView          bufferView[2];      // An application defined structure containing a bufferView
    // ... some more application related data
};

const VkDescriptorUpdateTemplateEntry descriptorUpdateTemplateEntries[] =
{
    // binding to a single image descriptor
    {
        0,                                           // binding
        0,                                           // dstArrayElement
        1,                                           // descriptorCount
        VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_COMBINED_IMAGE_SAMPLER,   // descriptorType
        offsetof(AppDataStructure, imageInfo),       // offset
        0                                            // stride is not required if descriptorCount is 1.
    },

    // binding to an array of buffer descriptors
    {
        0,                                           // binding
        0,                                           // dstArrayElement
        3,                                           // descriptorCount
        VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_BUFFER,           // descriptorType
        offsetof(AppDataStructure, bufferInfoArray), // offset
        sizeof(VkDescriptorBufferInfo)               // stride, descriptor buffer infos are compact
    },

    // binding to an array of buffer views
    {
        0,                                           // binding
        3,                                           // dstArrayElement
        1,                                           // descriptorCount
        VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_TEXEL_BUFFER,     // descriptorType
        offsetof(AppDataStructure, bufferView),      // offset
        sizeof(AppBufferView)                        // stride, bufferViews do not have to be compact
    },
};

// create a descriptor update template for descriptor set updates
const VkDescriptorUpdateTemplateCreateInfo createInfo =
{
    VK_STRUCTURE_TYPE_DESCRIPTOR_UPDATE_TEMPLATE_CREATE_INFO,  // sType
    NULL,                                                          // pNext
    0,                                                             // flags
    3,                                                             // descriptorUpdateEntryCount
    descriptorUpdateTemplateEntries,                               // pDescriptorUpdateEntries
    VK_DESCRIPTOR_UPDATE_TEMPLATE_TYPE_DESCRIPTOR_SET,         // templateType
    myLayout,                                                      // descriptorSetLayout
    0,                                                             // pipelineBindPoint, ignored by given templateType
    0,                                                             // pipelineLayout, ignored by given templateType
    0,                                                             // set, ignored by given templateType
};

VkDescriptorUpdateTemplate myDescriptorUpdateTemplate;
myResult = vkCreateDescriptorUpdateTemplate(
    myDevice,
    &createInfo,
    NULL,
    &myDescriptorUpdateTemplate);
}


AppDataStructure appData;

// fill appData here or cache it in your engine
vkUpdateDescriptorSetWithTemplate(myDevice, myDescriptorSet, myDescriptorUpdateTemplate, &appData);

13.2.8. Descriptor Set Binding

To bind one or more descriptor sets to a command buffer, call:

void vkCmdBindDescriptorSets(
    VkCommandBuffer                             commandBuffer,
    VkPipelineBindPoint                         pipelineBindPoint,
    VkPipelineLayout                            layout,
    uint32_t                                    firstSet,
    uint32_t                                    descriptorSetCount,
    const VkDescriptorSet*                      pDescriptorSets,
    uint32_t                                    dynamicOffsetCount,
    const uint32_t*                             pDynamicOffsets);
  • commandBuffer is the command buffer that the descriptor sets will be bound to.

  • pipelineBindPoint is a VkPipelineBindPoint indicating whether the descriptors will be used by graphics pipelines or compute pipelines. There is a separate set of bind points for each of graphics and compute, so binding one does not disturb the other.

  • layout is a VkPipelineLayout object used to program the bindings.

  • firstSet is the set number of the first descriptor set to be bound.

  • descriptorSetCount is the number of elements in the pDescriptorSets array.

  • pDescriptorSets is an array of handles to VkDescriptorSet objects describing the descriptor sets to write to.

  • dynamicOffsetCount is the number of dynamic offsets in the pDynamicOffsets array.

  • pDynamicOffsets is a pointer to an array of uint32_t values specifying dynamic offsets.

vkCmdBindDescriptorSets causes the sets numbered [firstSet.. firstSet+descriptorSetCount-1] to use the bindings stored in pDescriptorSets[0..descriptorSetCount-1] for subsequent rendering commands (either compute or graphics, according to the pipelineBindPoint). Any bindings that were previously applied via these sets are no longer valid.

Once bound, a descriptor set affects rendering of subsequent graphics or compute commands in the command buffer until a different set is bound to the same set number, or else until the set is disturbed as described in Pipeline Layout Compatibility.

A compatible descriptor set must be bound for all set numbers that any shaders in a pipeline access, at the time that a draw or dispatch command is recorded to execute using that pipeline. However, if none of the shaders in a pipeline statically use any bindings with a particular set number, then no descriptor set need be bound for that set number, even if the pipeline layout includes a non-trivial descriptor set layout for that set number.

If any of the sets being bound include dynamic uniform or storage buffers, then pDynamicOffsets includes one element for each array element in each dynamic descriptor type binding in each set. Values are taken from pDynamicOffsets in an order such that all entries for set N come before set N+1; within a set, entries are ordered by the binding numbers in the descriptor set layouts; and within a binding array, elements are in order. dynamicOffsetCount must equal the total number of dynamic descriptors in the sets being bound.

The effective offset used for dynamic uniform and storage buffer bindings is the sum of the relative offset taken from pDynamicOffsets, and the base address of the buffer plus base offset in the descriptor set. The range of the dynamic uniform and storage buffer bindings is the buffer range as specified in the descriptor set.

Each of the pDescriptorSets must be compatible with the pipeline layout specified by layout. The layout used to program the bindings must also be compatible with the pipeline used in subsequent graphics or compute commands, as defined in the Pipeline Layout Compatibility section.

The descriptor set contents bound by a call to vkCmdBindDescriptorSets may be consumed at the following times:

  • For descriptor bindings created with the VK_DESCRIPTOR_BINDING_UPDATE_AFTER_BIND_BIT_EXT bit set, the contents may be consumed when the command buffer is submitted to a queue, or during shader execution of the resulting draws and dispatches, or any time in between. Otherwise,

  • during host execution of the command, or during shader execution of the resulting draws and dispatches, or any time in between.

Thus, the contents of a descriptor set binding must not be altered (overwritten by an update command, or freed) between the first point in time that it may be consumed, and when the command completes executing on the queue.

The contents of pDynamicOffsets are consumed immediately during execution of vkCmdBindDescriptorSets. Once all pending uses have completed, it is legal to update and reuse a descriptor set.

Valid Usage
  • Each element of pDescriptorSets must have been allocated with a VkDescriptorSetLayout that matches (is the same as, or identically defined as) the VkDescriptorSetLayout at set n in layout, where n is the sum of firstSet and the index into pDescriptorSets

  • dynamicOffsetCount must be equal to the total number of dynamic descriptors in pDescriptorSets

  • The sum of firstSet and descriptorSetCount must be less than or equal to VkPipelineLayoutCreateInfo::setLayoutCount provided when layout was created

  • pipelineBindPoint must be supported by the commandBuffer’s parent VkCommandPool’s queue family

  • Each element of pDynamicOffsets which corresponds to a descriptor binding with type VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_UNIFORM_BUFFER_DYNAMIC must be a multiple of VkPhysicalDeviceLimits::minUniformBufferOffsetAlignment

  • Each element of pDynamicOffsets which corresponds to a descriptor binding with type VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_STORAGE_BUFFER_DYNAMIC must be a multiple of VkPhysicalDeviceLimits::minStorageBufferOffsetAlignment

  • For each dynamic uniform or storage buffer binding in pDescriptorSets, the sum of the effective offset, as defined above, and the range of the binding must be less than or equal to the size of the buffer

Valid Usage (Implicit)
  • commandBuffer must be a valid VkCommandBuffer handle

  • pipelineBindPoint must be a valid VkPipelineBindPoint value

  • layout must be a valid VkPipelineLayout handle

  • pDescriptorSets must be a valid pointer to an array of descriptorSetCount valid VkDescriptorSet handles

  • If dynamicOffsetCount is not 0, pDynamicOffsets must be a valid pointer to an array of dynamicOffsetCount uint32_t values

  • commandBuffer must be in the recording state

  • The VkCommandPool that commandBuffer was allocated from must support graphics, or compute operations

  • descriptorSetCount must be greater than 0

  • Each of commandBuffer, layout, and the elements of pDescriptorSets must have been created, allocated, or retrieved from the same VkDevice

Host Synchronization
  • Host access to commandBuffer must be externally synchronized

  • Host access to the VkCommandPool that commandBuffer was allocated from must be externally synchronized

Command Properties
Command Buffer Levels Render Pass Scope Supported Queue Types Pipeline Type

Primary
Secondary

Both

Graphics
Compute

13.2.9. Push Descriptor Updates

In addition to allocating descriptor sets and binding them to a command buffer, an application can record descriptor updates into the command buffer.

To push descriptor updates into a command buffer, call:

void vkCmdPushDescriptorSetKHR(
    VkCommandBuffer                             commandBuffer,
    VkPipelineBindPoint                         pipelineBindPoint,
    VkPipelineLayout                            layout,
    uint32_t                                    set,
    uint32_t                                    descriptorWriteCount,
    const VkWriteDescriptorSet*                 pDescriptorWrites);
  • commandBuffer is the command buffer that the descriptors will be recorded in.

  • pipelineBindPoint is a VkPipelineBindPoint indicating whether the descriptors will be used by graphics pipelines or compute pipelines. There is a separate set of push descriptor bindings for each of graphics and compute, so binding one does not disturb the other.

  • layout is a VkPipelineLayout object used to program the bindings.

  • set is the set number of the descriptor set in the pipeline layout that will be updated.

  • descriptorWriteCount is the number of elements in the pDescriptorWrites array.

  • pDescriptorWrites is a pointer to an array of VkWriteDescriptorSet structures describing the descriptors to be updated.

Push descriptors are a small bank of descriptors whose storage is internally managed by the command buffer rather than being written into a descriptor set and later bound to a command buffer. Push descriptors allow for incremental updates of descriptors without managing the lifetime of descriptor sets.

When a command buffer begins recording, all push descriptors have undefined contents. Push descriptors can be updated incrementally and cause shaders to use the updated descriptors for subsequent rendering commands (either compute or graphics, according to the pipelineBindPoint) until the descriptor is overwritten, or else until the set is disturbed as described in Pipeline Layout Compatibility. When the set is disturbed or push descriptors with a different descriptor set layout are set, all push descriptors become invalid.

Valid descriptors must be pushed for all bindings that any shaders in a pipeline access, at the time that a draw or dispatch command is recorded to execute using that pipeline. This includes immutable sampler descriptors, which must be pushed before they are accessed by a pipeline. However, if none of the shaders in a pipeline statically use certain bindings in the push descriptor set, then those descriptors need not be valid.

Push descriptors do not use dynamic offsets. Instead, the corresponding non-dynamic descriptor types can be used and the offset member of VkDescriptorBufferInfo can be changed each time the descriptor is written.

Each element of pDescriptorWrites is interpreted as in VkWriteDescriptorSet, except the dstSet member is ignored.

To push an immutable sampler, use a VkWriteDescriptorSet with dstBinding and dstArrayElement selecting the immutable sampler’s binding. If the descriptor type is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_SAMPLER, the pImageInfo parameter is ignored and the immutable sampler is taken from the push descriptor set layout in the pipeline layout. If the descriptor type is VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_COMBINED_IMAGE_SAMPLER, the sampler member of the pImageInfo parameter is ignored and the immutable sampler is taken from the push descriptor set layout in the pipeline layout.

Valid Usage
  • pipelineBindPoint must be supported by the commandBuffer’s parent VkCommandPool’s queue family

  • set must be less than VkPipelineLayoutCreateInfo::setLayoutCount provided when layout was created

  • set must be the unique set number in the pipeline layout that uses a descriptor set layout that was created with VK_DESCRIPTOR_SET_LAYOUT_CREATE_PUSH_DESCRIPTOR_BIT_KHR

Valid Usage (Implicit)
  • commandBuffer must be a valid VkCommandBuffer handle

  • pipelineBindPoint must be a valid VkPipelineBindPoint value

  • layout must be a valid VkPipelineLayout handle

  • pDescriptorWrites must be a valid pointer to an array of descriptorWriteCount valid VkWriteDescriptorSet structures

  • commandBuffer must be in the recording state

  • The VkCommandPool that commandBuffer was allocated from must support graphics, or compute operations

  • descriptorWriteCount must be greater than 0

  • Both of commandBuffer, and layout must have been created, allocated, or retrieved from the same VkDevice

Host Synchronization
  • Host access to commandBuffer must be externally synchronized

  • Host access to the VkCommandPool that commandBuffer was allocated from must be externally synchronized

Command Properties
Command Buffer Levels Render Pass Scope Supported Queue Types Pipeline Type

Primary
Secondary

Both

Graphics
Compute

13.2.10. Push Descriptor Updates with Descriptor Update Templates

It is also possible to use a descriptor update template to specify the push descriptors to update. To do so, call:

void vkCmdPushDescriptorSetWithTemplateKHR(
    VkCommandBuffer                             commandBuffer,
    VkDescriptorUpdateTemplate                  descriptorUpdateTemplate,
    VkPipelineLayout                            layout,
    uint32_t                                    set,
    const void*                                 pData);
  • commandBuffer is the command buffer that the descriptors will be recorded in.

  • descriptorUpdateTemplate A descriptor update template which defines how to interpret the descriptor information in pData.

  • layout is a VkPipelineLayout object used to program the bindings. It must be compatible with the layout used to create the descriptorUpdateTemplate handle.

  • set is the set number of the descriptor set in the pipeline layout that will be updated. This must be the same number used to create the descriptorUpdateTemplate handle.

  • pData Points to memory which contains the descriptors for the templated update.

Valid Usage
Valid Usage (Implicit)
  • commandBuffer must be a valid VkCommandBuffer handle

  • descriptorUpdateTemplate must be a valid VkDescriptorUpdateTemplate handle

  • layout must be a valid VkPipelineLayout handle

  • commandBuffer must be in the recording state

  • The VkCommandPool that commandBuffer was allocated from must support graphics, or compute operations

  • Each of commandBuffer, descriptorUpdateTemplate, and layout must have been created, allocated, or retrieved from the same VkDevice

Host Synchronization
  • Host access to commandBuffer must be externally synchronized

  • Host access to the VkCommandPool that commandBuffer was allocated from must be externally synchronized

Command Properties
Command Buffer Levels Render Pass Scope Supported Queue Types Pipeline Type

Primary
Secondary

Both

Graphics
Compute

API example
struct AppBufferView {
    VkBufferView bufferView;
    uint32_t     applicationRelatedInformation;
};

struct AppDataStructure
{
    VkDescriptorImageInfo  imageInfo;          // a single image info
    // ... some more application related data
};

const VkDescriptorUpdateTemplateEntry descriptorUpdateTemplateEntries[] =
{
    // binding to a single image descriptor
    {
        0,                                           // binding
        0,                                           // dstArrayElement
        1,                                           // descriptorCount
        VK_DESCRIPTOR_TYPE_COMBINED_IMAGE_SAMPLER,   // descriptorType
        offsetof(AppDataStructure, imageInfo),       // offset
        0                                            // stride is not required if descriptorCount is 1.
    }

};

// create a descriptor update template for descriptor set updates
const VkDescriptorUpdateTemplateCreateInfo createInfo =
{
    VK_STRUCTURE_TYPE_DESCRIPTOR_UPDATE_TEMPLATE_CREATE_INFO,  // sType
    NULL,                                                          // pNext
    0,                                                             // flags
    1,                                                             // descriptorUpdateEntryCount
    descriptorUpdateTemplateEntries,                               // pDescriptorUpdateEntries
    VK_DESCRIPTOR_UPDATE_TEMPLATE_TYPE_PUSH_DESCRIPTORS_KHR,       // templateType
    0,                                                             // descriptorSetLayout, ignored by given templateType
    VK_PIPELINE_BIND_POINT_GRAPHICS,                               // pipelineBindPoint
    myPipelineLayout,                                              // pipelineLayout
    0,                                                             // set
};

VkDescriptorUpdateTemplate myDescriptorUpdateTemplate;
myResult = vkCreateDescriptorUpdateTemplate(
    myDevice,
    &createInfo,
    NULL,
    &myDescriptorUpdateTemplate);
}

AppDataStructure appData;
// fill appData here or cache it in your engine
vkCmdPushDescriptorSetWithTemplateKHR(myCmdBuffer, myDescriptorUpdateTemplate, myPipelineLayout, 0,&appData);

13.2.11. Push Constant Updates

As described above in section Pipeline Layouts, the pipeline layout defines shader push constants which are updated via Vulkan commands rather than via writes to memory or copy commands.

Note

Push constants represent a high speed path to modify constant data in pipelines that is expected to outperform memory-backed resource updates.

The values of push constants are undefined at the start of a command buffer.

To update push constants, call:

void vkCmdPushConstants(
    VkCommandBuffer                             commandBuffer,
    VkPipelineLayout                            layout,
    VkShaderStageFlags                          stageFlags,
    uint32_t                                    offset,
    uint32_t                                    size,
    const void*                                 pValues);
  • commandBuffer is the command buffer in which the push constant update will be recorded.

  • layout is the pipeline layout used to program the push constant updates.

  • stageFlags is a bitmask of VkShaderStageFlagBits specifying the shader stages that will use the push constants in the updated range.

  • offset is the start offset of the push constant range to update, in units of bytes.

  • size is the size of the push constant range to update, in units of bytes.

  • pValues is an array of size bytes containing the new push constant values.

Note

As stageFlags needs to include all flags the relevant push constant ranges were created with, any flags that are not supported by the queue family that the VkCommandPool used to allocate commandBuffer was created on are ignored.

Valid Usage
  • For each byte in the range specified by offset and size and for each shader stage in stageFlags, there must be a push constant range in layout that includes that byte and that stage

  • For each byte in the range specified by offset and size and for each push constant range that overlaps that byte, stageFlags must include all stages in that push constant range’s VkPushConstantRange::stageFlags

  • offset must be a multiple of 4

  • size must be a multiple of 4

  • offset must be less than VkPhysicalDeviceLimits::maxPushConstantsSize

  • size must be less than or equal to VkPhysicalDeviceLimits::maxPushConstantsSize minus offset

Valid Usage (Implicit)
  • commandBuffer must be a valid VkCommandBuffer handle

  • layout must be a valid VkPipelineLayout handle

  • stageFlags must be a valid combination of VkShaderStageFlagBits values

  • stageFlags must not be 0

  • pValues must be a valid pointer to an array of size bytes

  • commandBuffer must be in the recording state

  • The VkCommandPool that commandBuffer was allocated from must support graphics, or compute operations

  • size must be greater than 0

  • Both of commandBuffer, and layout must have been created, allocated, or retrieved from the same VkDevice

Host Synchronization
  • Host access to commandBuffer must be externally synchronized

  • Host access to the VkCommandPool that commandBuffer was allocated from must be externally synchronized

Command Properties
Command Buffer Levels Render Pass Scope Supported Queue Types Pipeline Type

Primary
Secondary

Both

Graphics
Compute