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WaveMatrix wasn't checking WaveMMATier before running tests (assuming it
was always supported for SM 6.8). This change fixes this.

D3D12_SDK_VERSION check for WAVE_MMA feature structure and enum
definitions assumed they will be defined in SDK version 613. This isn't
accurate, so this block of local definitions will always be enabled
until we have the correct version in the future.

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December 28, 2016 11:52
December 28, 2016 11:52

DirectX Shader Compiler

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The DirectX Shader Compiler project includes a compiler and related tools used to compile High-Level Shader Language (HLSL) programs into DirectX Intermediate Language (DXIL) representation. Applications that make use of DirectX for graphics, games, and computation can use it to generate shader programs.

For more information, see the Wiki.

Visit the DirectX Landing Page for more resources for DirectX developers.


You can download the latest successful build's artifacts (built by Appveyor) for the main branch:


Features and Goals

The starting point of the project is a fork of the LLVM and Clang projects, modified to accept HLSL and emit a validated container that can be consumed by GPU drivers.

At the moment, the DirectX HLSL Compiler provides the following components:

  • dxc.exe, a command-line tool that can compile HLSL programs for shader model 6.0 or higher

  • dxcompiler.dll, a DLL providing a componentized compiler, assembler, disassembler, and validator

  • dxilconv.dll, a DLL providing a converter from DXBC (older shader bytecode format)

  • various other tools based on the above components

The Microsoft Windows SDK releases include a supported version of the compiler and validator.

The goal of the project is to allow the broader community of shader developers to contribute to the language and representation of shader programs, maintaining the principles of compatibility and supportability for the platform. It's currently in active development across two axes: language evolution (with no impact to DXIL representation), and surfacing hardware capabilities (with impact to DXIL, and thus requiring coordination with GPU implementations).

Pre-built Releases

Binary packages containing the output of this project are available from appveyor. Development kits containing only the dxc.exe driver app, the dxcompiler.dll, and the dxil.dll signing binary are available here, or in the releases tab.

SPIR-V CodeGen

As an example of community contribution, this project can also target the SPIR-V intermediate representation. Please see the doc for how HLSL features are mapped to SPIR-V, and the wiki page for how to build, use, and contribute to the SPIR-V CodeGen.

Building Sources

Building DXC requires:

  • Git.
  • Python - version 3.x is required
  • CMake - version >= 3.17.2
    • The bundled version with Visual Studio works for Windows.
  • The C++ 14 compiler and runtime of your choosing.
    • DXC is known to compile with recent versions of GCC, Clang and MSVC.

Building on windows additionally requires:

A new experimental simplified build and test workflow is documented here.

Before you build, you will need to have some additional software installed. This is the most straightforward path - see Building Sources on the Wiki for more options, including Visual Studio 2015 and Ninja support.

After cloning the project, you can set up a build environment shortcut by double-clicking the utils\hct\hctshortcut.js file. This will create a shortcut on your desktop with a default configuration. If your system doesn't have the requisite association for .js files, this may not work. If so, open a cmd window and invoke: wscript.exe utils\hct\hctshortcut.js.

Tests are built using the TAEF framework which is included in the Windows Driver Kit.

To build, run this command on the HLSL Console.


You can also run tests with this command.


To see a list of additional commands available, run hcthelp

Running Tests

To run tests, open the HLSL Console and run this command after a successful build.


Some tests will run shaders and verify their behavior. These tests also involve a driver that can execute these shaders. See the next section on how this should be currently set up.

Running Shaders

To run shaders compiled as DXIL, you will need support from the operating system as well as from the driver for your graphics adapter. Windows 10 Creators Update is the first version to support DXIL shaders. See the Wiki for information on using experimental support or the software adapter.

Hardware Support

Hardware GPU support for DXIL is provided by the following vendors:


NVIDIA's r396 drivers (r397.64 and later) provide release mode support for DXIL 1.1 and Shader Model 6.1 on Win10 1709 and later, and experimental mode support for DXIL 1.2 and Shader Model 6.2 on Win10 1803 and later. These drivers also support DXR in experimental mode.

Drivers can be downloaded from


AMD’s driver (Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 18.4.1 or later) provides release mode support for DXIL 1.1 and Shader Model 6.1. Drivers can be downloaded from AMD's download site.


Intel's 15.60 drivers ( and later) support release mode for DXIL 1.0 and Shader Model 6.0 as well as release mode for DXIL 1.1 and Shader Model 6.1 (View Instancing support only).

Drivers can be downloaded from the following link Intel Graphics Drivers

Direct access to 15.60 driver (latest as of of this update) is provided below:


Release Notes related to DXIL

Making Changes

To make contributions, see the file in this project.


You can find documentation for this project in the docs directory. These contain the original LLVM documentation files, as well as two new files worth nothing:


DirectX Shader Compiler is distributed under the terms of the University of Illinois Open Source License.

See LICENSE.txt and ThirdPartyNotices.txt for details.

Code of Conduct

This project has adopted the Microsoft Open Source Code of Conduct. For more information see the Code of Conduct FAQ or contact with any additional questions or comments.