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OpenCL Support
Clang has complete support of OpenCL C versions from 1.0 to 2.0.
Clang also supports :ref:`the C++ for OpenCL kernel language <cxx_for_opencl_impl>`.
There is an ongoing work to support :ref:`OpenCL 3.0 <opencl_300>`.
There are also other :ref:`new and experimental features <opencl_experimenal>` available.
For general issues and bugs with OpenCL in clang refer to `Bugzilla
Internals Manual
This section acts as internal documentation for OpenCL features design
as well as some important implementation aspects. It is primarily targeted
at the advanced users and the toolchain developers integrating frontend
functionality as a component.
OpenCL Metadata
Clang uses metadata to provide additional OpenCL semantics in IR needed for
backends and OpenCL runtime.
Each kernel will have function metadata attached to it, specifying the arguments.
Kernel argument metadata is used to provide source level information for querying
at runtime, for example using the `clGetKernelArgInfo
Note that ``-cl-kernel-arg-info`` enables more information about the original
kernel code to be added e.g. kernel parameter names will appear in the OpenCL
metadata along with other information.
The IDs used to encode the OpenCL's logical address spaces in the argument info
metadata follows the SPIR address space mapping as defined in the SPIR
specification `section 2.2
OpenCL Specific Options
In addition to the options described in :doc:`UsersManual` there are the
following options specific to the OpenCL frontend.
All the options in this section are frontend-only and therefore if used
with regular clang driver they require frontend forwarding, e.g. ``-cc1``
or ``-Xclang``.
.. _opencl_cl_ext:
.. option:: -cl-ext
Disables support of OpenCL extensions. All OpenCL targets provide a list
of extensions that they support. Clang allows to amend this using the ``-cl-ext``
flag with a comma-separated list of extensions prefixed with ``'+'`` or ``'-'``.
The syntax: ``-cl-ext=<(['-'|'+']<extension>[,])+>``, where extensions
can be either one of `the OpenCL published extensions
or any vendor extension. Alternatively, ``'all'`` can be used to enable
or disable all known extensions.
Example disabling double support for the 64-bit SPIR target:
.. code-block:: console
$ clang -cc1 -triple spir64-unknown-unknown -cl-ext=-cl_khr_fp64
Enabling all extensions except double support in R600 AMD GPU can be done using:
.. code-block:: console
$ clang -cc1 -triple r600-unknown-unknown -cl-ext=-all,+cl_khr_fp16
.. _opencl_finclude_default_header:
.. option:: -finclude-default-header
Adds most of builtin types and function declarations during compilations. By
default the OpenCL headers are not loaded by the frontend and therefore certain
builtin types and most of builtin functions are not declared. To load them
automatically this flag can be passed to the frontend (see also :ref:`the
section on the OpenCL Header <opencl_header>`):
.. code-block:: console
$ clang -Xclang -finclude-default-header
Alternatively the internal header `opencl-c.h` containing the declarations
can be included manually using ``-include`` or ``-I`` followed by the path
to the header location. The header can be found in the clang source tree or
installation directory.
.. code-block:: console
$ clang -I<path to clang sources>/lib/Headers/opencl-c.h
$ clang -I<path to clang installation>/lib/clang/<llvm version>/include/opencl-c.h/opencl-c.h
In this example it is assumed that the kernel code contains
``#include <opencl-c.h>`` just as a regular C include.
Because the header is very large and long to parse, PCH (:doc:`PCHInternals`)
and modules (:doc:`Modules`) can be used internally to improve the compilation
To enable modules for OpenCL:
.. code-block:: console
$ clang -target spir-unknown-unknown -c -emit-llvm -Xclang -finclude-default-header -fmodules -fimplicit-module-maps -fm odules-cache-path=<path to the generated module>
Another way to circumvent long parsing latency for the OpenCL builtin
declarations is to use mechanism enabled by :ref:`-fdeclare-opencl-builtins
<opencl_fdeclare_opencl_builtins>` flag that is available as an alternative
.. _opencl_fdeclare_opencl_builtins:
.. option:: -fdeclare-opencl-builtins
In addition to regular header includes with builtin types and functions using
:ref:`-finclude-default-header <opencl_finclude_default_header>`, clang
supports a fast mechanism to declare builtin functions with
``-fdeclare-opencl-builtins``. This does not declare the builtin types and
therefore it has to be used in combination with ``-finclude-default-header``
if full functionality is required.
**Example of Use**:
.. code-block:: console
$ clang -Xclang -fdeclare-opencl-builtins
.. _opencl_fake_address_space_map:
.. option:: -ffake-address-space-map
Overrides the target address space map with a fake map.
This allows adding explicit address space IDs to the bitcode for non-segmented
memory architectures that do not have separate IDs for each of the OpenCL
logical address spaces by default. Passing ``-ffake-address-space-map`` will
add/override address spaces of the target compiled for with the following values:
``1-global``, ``2-constant``, ``3-local``, ``4-generic``. The private address
space is represented by the absence of an address space attribute in the IR (see
also :ref:`the section on the address space attribute <opencl_addrsp>`).
.. code-block:: console
$ clang -cc1 -ffake-address-space-map
.. _opencl_builtins:
OpenCL builtins
**Clang builtins**
There are some standard OpenCL functions that are implemented as Clang builtins:
- All pipe functions from `section
<>`_ of
the OpenCL v2.0 kernel language specification.
- Address space qualifier conversion functions ``to_global``/``to_local``/``to_private``
from `section 6.13.9
- All the ``enqueue_kernel`` functions from `section
<>`_ and
enqueue query functions from `section
**Fast builtin function declarations**
The implementation of the fast builtin function declarations (available via the
:ref:`-fdeclare-opencl-builtins option <opencl_fdeclare_opencl_builtins>`) consists
of the following main components:
- A TableGen definitions file ````. This contains a compact
representation of the supported builtin functions. When adding new builtin
function declarations, this is normally the only file that needs modifying.
- A Clang TableGen emitter defined in ``ClangOpenCLBuiltinEmitter.cpp``. During
Clang build time, the emitter reads the TableGen definition file and
generates ````. This generated file contains various tables
and functions that capture the builtin function data from the TableGen
definitions in a compact manner.
- OpenCL specific code in ``SemaLookup.cpp``. When ``Sema::LookupBuiltin``
encounters a potential builtin function, it will check if the name corresponds
to a valid OpenCL builtin function. If so, all overloads of the function are
inserted using ``InsertOCLBuiltinDeclarationsFromTable`` and overload
resolution takes place.
OpenCL Extensions and Features
Clang implements various extensions to OpenCL kernel languages.
New functionality is accepted as soon as the documentation is detailed to the
level sufficient to be implemented. There should be an evidence that the
extension is designed with implementation feasibility in consideration and
assessment of complexity for C/C++ based compilers. Alternatively, the
documentation can be accepted in a format of a draft that can be further
refined during the implementation.
Implementation guidelines
This section explains how to extend clang with the new functionality.
**Parsing functionality**
If an extension modifies the standard parsing it needs to be added to
the clang frontend source code. This also means that the associated macro
indicating the presence of the extension should be added to clang.
The default flow for adding a new extension into the frontend is to
modify `OpenCLExtensions.def
This will add the macro automatically and also add a field in the target
options ``clang::TargetOptions::OpenCLFeaturesMap`` to control the exposure
of the new extension during the compilation.
Note that by default targets like `SPIR` or `X86` expose all the OpenCL
extensions. For all other targets the configuration has to be made explicitly.
Note that the target extension support performed by clang can be overridden
with :ref:`-cl-ext <opencl_cl_ext>` command-line flags.
**Library functionality**
If an extension adds functionality that does not modify standard language
parsing it should not require modifying anything other than header files or
```` detailed in :ref:`OpenCL builtins <opencl_builtins>`.
Most commonly such extensions add functionality via libraries (by adding
non-native types or functions) parsed regularly. Similar to other languages this
is the most common way to add new functionality.
Clang has standard headers where new types and functions are being added,
for more details refer to
:ref:`the section on the OpenCL Header <opencl_header>`. The macros indicating
the presence of such extensions can be added in the standard header files
conditioned on target specific predefined macros or/and language version
predefined macros.
Some extensions alter standard parsing dynamically via pragmas.
Clang provides a mechanism to add the standard extension pragma
``OPENCL EXTENSION`` by setting a dedicated flag in the extension list entry of
``OpenCLExtensions.def``. Note that there is no default behavior for the
standard extension pragmas as it is not specified (for the standards up to and
including version 3.0) in a sufficient level of detail and, therefore,
there is no default functionality provided by clang.
Pragmas without detailed information of their behavior (e.g. an explanation of
changes it triggers in the parsing) should not be added to clang. Moreover, the
pragmas should provide useful functionality to the user. For example, such
functionality should address a practical use case and not be redundant i.e.
cannot be achieved using existing features.
Note that some legacy extensions (published prior to OpenCL 3.0) still
provide some non-conformant functionality for pragmas e.g. add diagnostics on
the use of types or functions. This functionality is not guaranteed to remain in
future releases. However, any future changes should not affect backward
.. _opencl_addrsp:
Address spaces attribute
Clang has arbitrary address space support using the ``address_space(N)``
attribute, where ``N`` is an integer number in the range specified in the
Clang source code. This addresses spaces can be used along with the OpenCL
address spaces however when such addresses spaces converted to/from OpenCL
address spaces the behavior is not governed by OpenCL specification.
An OpenCL implementation provides a list of standard address spaces using
keywords: ``private``, ``local``, ``global``, and ``generic``. In the AST and
in the IR each of the address spaces will be represented by unique number
provided in the Clang source code. The specific IDs for an address space do not
have to match between the AST and the IR. Typically in the AST address space
numbers represent logical segments while in the IR they represent physical
Therefore, machines with flat memory segments can map all AST address space
numbers to the same physical segment ID or skip address space attribute
completely while generating the IR. However, if the address space information
is needed by the IR passes e.g. to improve alias analysis, it is recommended
to keep it and only lower to reflect physical memory segments in the late
machine passes. The mapping between logical and target address spaces is
specified in the Clang's source code.
.. _cxx_for_opencl_impl:
C++ for OpenCL Implementation Status
Clang implements language version 1.0 published in `the official
release of C++ for OpenCL Documentation
Limited support of experimental C++ libraries is described in the :ref:`experimental features <opencl_experimenal>`.
Bugzilla bugs for this functionality are typically prefixed
with '[C++4OpenCL]' - click `here
< ort_desc=%5BC%2B%2B4OpenCL%5D&short_desc_type=allwordssubstr>`_
to view the full bug list.
Missing features or with limited support
- Use of ObjC blocks is disabled and therefore the ``enqueue_kernel`` builtin
function is not supported currently. It is expected that if support for this
feature is added in the future, it will utilize C++ lambdas instead of ObjC
- IR generation for global destructors is incomplete (See:
`PR48047 <>`_).
- There is no distinct file extension for sources that are to be compiled
in C++ for OpenCL mode (See: `PR48097 <>`_)
.. _opencl_300:
OpenCL 3.0 Implementation Status
The following table provides an overview of features in OpenCL C 3.0 and their
implementation status.
| Category | Feature | Status | Reviews |
| Command line interface | New value for ``-cl-std`` flag | :good:`done` | |
| Predefined macros | New version macro | :good:`done` | |
| Predefined macros | Feature macros | :part:`worked on` | |
| Feature optionality | Generic address space | :none:`unclaimed` | |
| Feature optionality | Builtin function overloads with generic address space | :part:`worked on` | |
| Feature optionality | Program scope variables in global memory | :none:`unclaimed` | |
| Feature optionality | 3D image writes including builtin functions | :none:`unclaimed` | |
| Feature optionality | read_write images including builtin functions | :none:`unclaimed` | |
| Feature optionality | C11 atomics memory scopes, ordering and builtin function | :part:`worked on` | (functions only) |
| Feature optionality | Device-side kernel enqueue including builtin functions | :none:`unclaimed` | |
| Feature optionality | Pipes including builtin functions | :part:`worked on` | (functions only) |
| Feature optionality | Work group collective functions | :part:`worked on` | |
| New functionality | RGBA vector components | :none:`unclaimed` | |
| New functionality | Subgroup functions | :part:`worked on` | |
| New functionality | Atomic mem scopes: subgroup, all devices including functions | :part:`worked on` | (functions only) |
.. _opencl_experimenal:
Experimental features
Clang provides the following new WIP features for the developers to experiment
and provide early feedback or contribute with further improvements.
Feel free to contact us on `cfe-dev
<>`_ or via `Bugzilla
C++ libraries for OpenCL
There is ongoing work to support C++ standard libraries from `LLVM's libcxx
<>`_ in OpenCL kernel code using C++ for OpenCL mode.
It is currently possible to include `type_traits` from C++17 in the kernel
sources when the following clang extensions are enabled
``__cl_clang_function_pointers`` and ``__cl_clang_variadic_functions``,
see :doc:`LanguageExtensions` for more details. The use of non-conformant
features enabled by the extensions does not expose non-conformant behavior
beyond the compilation i.e. does not get generated in IR or binary.
The extension only appear in metaprogramming
mechanism to identify or verify the properties of types. This allows to provide
the full C++ functionality without a loss of portability. To avoid unsafe use
of the extensions it is recommended that the extensions are disabled directly
after the header include.
**Example of Use**:
The example of kernel code with `type_traits` is illustrated here.
.. code-block:: c++
#pragma OPENCL EXTENSION __cl_clang_function_pointers : enable
#pragma OPENCL EXTENSION __cl_clang_variadic_functions : enable
#include <type_traits>
#pragma OPENCL EXTENSION __cl_clang_function_pointers : disable
#pragma OPENCL EXTENSION __cl_clang_variadic_functions : disable
using sint_type = std::make_signed<unsigned int>::type;
__kernel void foo() {
static_assert(!std::is_same<sint_type, unsigned int>::value);
The possible clang invocation to compile the example is as follows:
.. code-block:: console
$ clang -cl-std=clc++ -I<path to libcxx checkout or installation>/include
Note that `type_traits` is a header only library and therefore no extra
linking step against the standard libraries is required.