Create an OpenCL context from a device type that identifies the specific device(s) to use.

cl_context clCreateContextFromType ( cl_context_properties   *properties,
  cl_device_type  device_type,
  void  (*pfn_notify) (const char *errinfo,
  const void  *private_info,
  size_t  cb,
  void  *user_data),
  void  *user_data,
  cl_int  *errcode_ret)



Specifies a list of context property names and their corresponding values. Each property name is immediately followed by the corresponding desired value. The list is terminated with 0. properties can be NULL in which case the platform that is selected is implementation-defined. The list of supported properties is described in the table below.

cl_context_properties enum Property value Description
CL_CONTEXT_PLATFORM cl_platform_id Specifies the platform to use.

A bit-field that identifies the type of device and is described in the table below.

cl_device_type Description
CL_DEVICE_TYPE_CPU An OpenCL device that is the host processor. The host processor runs the OpenCL implementations and is a single or multi-core CPU.
CL_DEVICE_TYPE_GPU An OpenCL device that is a GPU. By this we mean that the device can also be used to accelerate a 3D API such as OpenGL or DirectX.
CL_DEVICE_TYPE_ACCELERATOR Dedicated OpenCL accelerators (for example the IBM CELL Blade). These devices communicate with the host processor using a peripheral interconnect such as PCIe.
CL_DEVICE_TYPE_DEFAULT The default OpenCL device in the system.
CL_DEVICE_TYPE_ALL All OpenCL devices available in the system.

A callback function that can be registered by the application. This callback function will be used by the OpenCL implementation to report information on errors that occur in this context. This callback function may be called asynchronously by the OpenCL implementation. It is the application's responsibility to ensure that the callback function is thread-safe. If pfn_notify is NULL, no callback function is registered. The parameters to this callback function are:

errinfo is a pointer to an error string.

private_info and cb represent a pointer to binary data that is returned by the OpenCL implementation that can be used to log additional information helpful in debugging the error.

user_data is a pointer to user supplied data.


Passed as the user_data argument when pfn_notify is called. user_data can be NULL.


Return an appropriate error code. If errcode_ret is NULL, no error code is returned.


clCreateContextFromType may return all or a subset of the actual physical devices present in the platform and that match device_type.

clCreateContextFromType and clCreateContext perform an implicit retain. This is very helpful for 3rd party libraries, which typically get a context passed to them by the application. However, it is possible that the application may delete the context without informing the library. Allowing functions to attach to (i.e. retain) and release a context solves the problem of a context being used by a library no longer being valid.


clCreateContextFromType returns a valid non-zero context and errcode_ret is set to CL_SUCCESS if the context is created successfully. Otherwise, it returns a NULL value with the following error vlaues returned in errcode_ret:

  • CL_INVALID_PLATFORM if properties is NULL and no platform could be selected or if platform value specified in properties is not a valid platform.
  • CL_INVALID_VALUE if context property name in properties is not a supported property name, or if pfn_notify is NULL but user_data is not NULL.
  • CL_INVALID_VALUE if pfn_notify is NULL but user_data is not NULL.
  • CL_DEVICE_NOT_AVAILABLE if no devices that match device_type are currently available.
  • CL_DEVICE_NOT_FOUND if no devices that match device_type were found.
  • CL_OUT_OF_HOST_MEMORY if there is a failure to allocate resources required by the OpenCL implementation on the host.
  • CL_INVALID_DEVICE_TYPE if device_type is not a valid value.


Example goes here - it will be set in "code" type with white space preserved.


OpenCL Specification

Also see

clCreateContext, clGetContextInfo, clReleaseContext, clRetainContext, clGetContextInfo

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