Author Topic: NVIDIA - Vulkan Device Generated Commands  (Read 4716 times)

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NVIDIA - Vulkan Device Generated Commands
« on: March 31, 2020, 05:41:04 PM »
This post was updated substantially in March 2020. The original post was about the experimental NVX extension, while the current post is about the production NV version.

We are releasing the VK_NV_device_generated_commands (DGC) Vulkan extension, which allows GPU generation of the most frequent rendering commands. This extension offers an improved design over the experimental NVX extension.

Vulkan now has functionality like the DirectX12 ExecuteIndirect function. However, we added the ability to change shaders (ShaderGroups) on the GPU as well. This marks the first time that an open graphics API has provided functionality to create compact command buffer streams on the device, avoiding the worst-case state setup of previous indirect drawing methods.


With general advances in programmable shading, the GPU can take on an ever-increasing set of responsibilities for rendering, by computing supplemental data and allowing a greater variety of rendering algorithms to be implemented. However, when it comes to setting up state for draw calls, the decisions must primarily be made on the CPU. Therefore, explicit synchronization or working from past frame’s results was necessary. Device-generated commands remove this readback latency and overcome existing inefficiencies.

Another trend is the development towards global scene representations on the GPU. For example, in ray tracing (VK_NV/KHR_ray_tracing), the GPU stores geometry and instance information for the scene. Recent API developments (VK_VERSION_1_2, or VK_EXT_descriptor_indexing and VK_EXT_buffer_device_address) allow the GPU to use bindless resources. This extension supplements such representations and allows you to determine the subset of objects to be rasterized on the device by modifying buffer contents before the command generation.


Vulkan -  Device-Generated Commands