Registered Extension Number




Ratification Status

Not ratified

Extension and Version Dependencies


  • This is a provisional extension and must be used with caution. See the description of provisional header files for enablement and stability details.

API Interactions

  • Interacts with VK_EXT_debug_report == Contact

  • Tristan Lorach tlorach

Other Extension Metadata

Last Modified Date


  • Eric Werness, NVIDIA


Interoperability between APIs can sometimes create additional overhead depending on the platform used. This extension targets deployment of existing CUDA kernels via Vulkan, with a way to directly upload PTX kernels and dispatch the kernels from Vulkan’s command buffer without the need to use interoperability between the Vulkan and CUDA contexts. However, we do encourage actual development using the native CUDA runtime for the purpose of debugging and profiling.

The application will first have to create a CUDA module using vkCreateCudaModuleNV then create the CUDA function entry point with vkCreateCudaFunctionNV.

Then in order to dispatch this function, the application will create a command buffer where it will launch the kernel with vkCmdCudaLaunchKernelNV.

When done, the application will then destroy the function handle, as well as the CUDA module handle with vkDestroyCudaFunctionNV and vkDestroyCudaModuleNV.

To reduce the impact of compilation time, this extension offers the capability to return a binary cache from the PTX that was provided. For this, a first query for the required cache size is made with vkGetCudaModuleCacheNV with a NULL pointer to a buffer and with a valid pointer receiving the size; then another call of the same function with a valid pointer to a buffer to retrieve the data. The resulting cache could then be user later for further runs of this application by sending this cache instead of the PTX code (using the same vkCreateCudaModuleNV), thus significantly speeding up the initialization of the CUDA module.

As with VkPipelineCache, the binary cache depends on the hardware architecture. The application must assume the cache might fail, and need to handle falling back to the original PTX code as necessary. Most often, the cache will succeed if the same GPU driver and architecture is used between the cache generation from PTX and the use of this cache. In the event of a new driver version, or if using a different GPU architecture, the cache is likely to become invalid.

New Object Types

New Commands

New Structures

New Enum Constants



  • Extending VkObjectType:



  • Extending VkStructureType:






If VK_EXT_debug_report is supported:

  • Extending VkDebugReportObjectTypeEXT:





Version History

  • Revision 1, 2020-03-01 (Tristan Lorach)

  • Revision 2, 2020-09-30 (Tristan Lorach)

See Also

Document Notes

For more information, see the Vulkan Specification

This page is a generated document. Fixes and changes should be made to the generator scripts, not directly.

Copyright 2014-2023 The Khronos Group Inc.

SPDX-License-Identifier: CC-BY-4.0