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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.

For more information, see the Wiki.

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

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

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

See the full documentation for Building and testing DXC for detailed instructions.

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.