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Chas. Boyd edited this page Mar 10, 2019 · 26 revisions

DirectX Shader Compiler

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.

The project evolves by supporting new Shader Models, which reflect capabilities of underlying hardware and drivers, and Language Versions, which reflect capabilities of the compiler toolchain.

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 and beyond

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

  • various other tools based on the above components

The Microsoft Windows SDK releases include supported versions 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). Candidate feature lists for both language and hardware evolution are included on the Roadmap page.

Getting Things Done

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 some new files worth noting:

Additional documentation is available on the Wiki:

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.

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